Winning The War On Energy Scams

Winning The War On Energy Scams

Victoria Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien

Victoria And New South Wales (NSW) Join Forces Against Energy Saver Scam

Victor P Taffa

Victorians approached by anyone purporting to be from the ‘Australian Electricity Commission’ should be aware the trader is not linked to government and any claims about the energy savings from devices have not been substantiated.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said today that Consumer Affairs Victoria and NSW Fair Trading are aware of reports the trader is selling purported ‘energy-saving’ devices, claiming they will cut energy costs by 30 to 40 %.

“Recent reports suggest the scammers are now targeting elderly Australian pensioners who are receiving phone calls claiming they have been ‘selected’ and are being rewarded for paying their energy bills on time.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Consumer Affairs Victoria is working with NSW Fair Trading in the collection of evidence and investigators from both agencies are working collaboratively across jurisdictions to end the scam.”

“While there are legitimate energy-saving devices on the market, the products offered by the ‘Australian Electricity Commission’ don’t live up to claims made by the company’s salespeople.”

“Independent testing by CHOICE shows that the amount of energy that can be saved by installing the devices sold by the ‘Australian Electricity Commission’ is negligible.”

“While many traders selling these types of devices are doing the right thing, traders such as the so called ‘Australian Electricity Commission’ are misrepresenting they are from the government and may be making claims about the devices’ ability to save energy which have not been substantiated.”

The mail-based scam originates in Melbourne and initially targeted the Afghan community.

Mr. O’Brien said telemarketers were ringing consumers and claiming they were from a government agency, with consumers told they were selected to have an energy-saving device installed in their home and the device was free because the purchase price was a bond refundable in three months.