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Question and Answer Tracking Details

2272 - BUSHFIRE SCAMS

Haylen, Jo to the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation
  1. What specific actions has Fair Trading NSW taken to protect communities affected by bushfire against scams and fraud following the devastating fires?
  2. How many reports of scams or fraud in bushfire affected communities have been made to Fair Trading NSW?
    1. How many of these reports involved residents aged 60 or over?
    2. How many of these reports resulted in investigations by Fair Trading NSW?
      1. How many of these investigations resulted in criminal or further action?
Answer -

(1) Fair Trading is committed to safeguarding the rights of consumers and frequently educates the public about actions that can be taken to avoid being scammed. Information about making donations and raising funds for victims of the bushfire emergency was published on the Fair Trading website on 9 January 2020. In addition, a Charitable Fundraising Bushfire Appeals Hotline has been established for the public. Fair Trading also provides an online tool on its website where consumers can verify licence details and check whether a contractor or tradesperson is qualified to do the job. A media release was issued on 23 January 2020 encouraging consumers to register for the New South Wales Government's Bushfire clean up service and providing information on tradesperson licence checks.

(2) Since 1 December 2019 NSW Fair Trading has received at least four complaints and six inquiries relating to bushfire fundraising appeals. Fair Trading has not received any complaints or inquiries about substandard work in bushfire-affected communities to date.

(a) One.

(b) Fair Trading is currently investigating two matters relating to bushfire fundraising appeals.

(b) (i) As both of these investigations are ongoing, no further comment can be made at this time.

Question asked on 6 February 2020 (session 57-1) and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 47
Answer received on 12 March 2020 and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 54