Dodgy doorknockers in town

NSW Fair Trading has received reports of unscrupulous training providers knocking on doors in the Wagga Wagga area, offering residents free laptops if they sign up for education courses. 

Inducements, including but not limited to laptops, iPads, cash and prizes, to encourage potential students to enrol for VET FEE-HELP loans were banned by the Federal Government on 1 April this year. 

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, said low-income and vulnerable consumers are often the target of these sorts of scams, being induced to sign up for courses they do not need and are unlikely to ever complete.

“We’ve had reports of this kind of dishonest behaviour before and Federal Court action has already been taken on many of these unscrupulous providers”. 

Wagga Wagga residents are reminded to use their best judgement when unsolicited salespeople come knocking.  “If something seems too good to be true, it usually is,” said Commissioner Stowe.    

In previous instances, many consumers were enrolled in multiple courses without their knowledge and accumulated loans worth tens of thousands of dollars each. 

Businesses found to be exploiting vulnerable consumers can be penalised under the Australian Consumer Law, and fined up to $1.1m per contravention for corporations and $220,000 for other businesses.

Consumers, family members and community service providers should report any illegal or unethical marketing of products and services by lodging a complaint with NSW Fair Trading fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or on 13 32 20.