ADJOURNMENT – Consumer affairs: job advertisement scams – Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Posted on 20. Aug, 2010 in Speeches

Mr LIM (Clayton) — The matter I raise is for the attention of the Minister for Consumer Affairs. It concerns the recruiting of so‑called dispatch managers by fraudulent organisations. The action I seek is that the minister, as part of the anti‑scam programs run by Consumer Affairs Victoria, take steps to warn people of the existence of fake employment scams such as these and to consider whether recruiting organisations should be held responsible for the advertisements they carry. Consumer Affairs distributes an excellent publication, The Little Black Book of Scams. Perhaps a warning about this scam could be added to future editions.

A woman in my electorate was recently burnt by such a scam. The woman, a recent migrant, was recruited through an official employment website. She believed she had legitimate employment, redirecting packages delivered to her to other addresses. That was until she was besieged by angry suppliers demanding payment for the goods, which had been purchased using stolen credit card information. The police have stated that these types of criminal syndicate job advertisements were focused on international students and new migrants. Naturally the dispatch managers receive no pay for their work, and they run the risk of being held criminally liable for the fraud.

I urge the minister to ensure that consumers, particularly those who are most vulnerable, such as newly arrived migrants and international students, are informed of the existence of such fake job scams. I also call upon him to investigate whether there is a duty of care for the recruiting organisation to check the credentials of a company advertising for staff through its organisation.

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