A carbon price will be implemented in Australia from 1 July 2012. The carbon price applies to certain greenhouse emissions, with some large businesses being required to purchase carbon credits against their emissions. Visit the Clean Energy Regulator website for more information.
Businesses might make claims about the impact of the carbon price. Some of these claims may be accurate and some may be misleading. Carbon price claims could appear in different ways:
- By television or radio advertising, and in catalogues
- On websites
- On product labels
- In contracts
- By a salesperson over the phone, via email or in person on the shop floor.
Under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 businesses must not make false, misleading or deceptive claims about the price of goods or services. This includes false or misleading claims linking price rises to the carbon price.
Leading up to and following the start of the carbon price, if businesses make claims about the impact of the carbon price, these claims need to be truthful and have a reasonable basis. The same legal obligations not to mislead or deceive apply.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission can investigate and take action against businesses that make false or misleading claims.
Carbon price scams can come in a variety of forms, targeting consumers and businesses. Be wary of:
- Phone calls seeking your personal banking details to pay carbon ´tax´ compensation into your bank account. These are likely to be scam calls.
- Fake websites which look very similar to official Australian Government websites. The sites may ask you to enter your personal or financial details, or offer to sell you fake carbon credits.
- Telephone calls from scammers posing as government officers, asking for your personal information (such as banking details or identification numbers) in order to claim household assistance from the government.
The Australian Government will never call you to ask for your bank account details or to offer you carbon price compensation.
Government services are never paid via wire transfer.
Use the Australian Government website as a safe portal for finding government services.
Be suspicious of calls which ask for personal, business or financial details.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, lodge a complaint through the OFT website or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
For more information visit the ScamWatch website.
Last reviewed 02/07/2012