Warning about mobile van scam

NORTH Coast residents have been warned about a group of mobile traders selling home video projectors out of the back of vans.

Coffs Harbour police contacted Fair Trading late last week to inform them that officers spoke to two men selling electrical goods from a Queensland-registered van in the car park of Park Beach Plaza. It was established the goods were not stolen, but cheap imports which may have been of questionable quality.

Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts warned North Coast residents to be wary.

“I urge people to use the utmost caution in considering a purchase of electronic goods out of the back of a van, because it is likely to be substandard, if not worthless,” Mr Roberts said.

“Residents are warned these traders may turn up anywhere on the North Coast. Fair Trading is investigating and appreciates any tip-offs from the public.

“If approached with offers of cheap goods for sale people should walk away, but also please report it to the nearest Fair Trading centre by calling 13 32 20.”

Mr Roberts said such sales tactics were all too common and usually involved white vans.

“Fair Trading recently prosecuted a company that was selling stereo equipment that did not work at all in some cases. The company was fined more than $23,000 and had to surrender all seized equipment,” he said.

“White van traders, as they are universally known, often use a sales pitch suggesting they need to move the stock before returning to the warehouse and are prepared to offer real bargains.

“They prey on people's desire for a bargain, but that's not what you get when you buy this stuff.”

Mr Roberts said the goods are generally packaged using fake brand names and false statements, including that the equipment has received various, non-existent industry awards.

“The old adage applies: if something seems too good to be true, it usually is,” he said.

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