Contact Consumer Protection
Tel: 1300 30 40 54
See all Consumer Protection office locations
Consumer Protection (a division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety) provides assistance and advice about the rights and responsibilities of traders and consumers under Western Australia’s consumer protection laws.
We have developed this brochure to help you protect the welfare of the people in your care.
If you are a family carer or a care worker, it is important to know where to go for information and advice if you are concerned the person you care for may be the victim of unfair trading practices, scams or unfair contracts.
The signs that a person within your care may be the victim of a scam include:
To help you keep the personal information of those within your care private and secure:
A Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney are legal documents where one person gives another the legal authority to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf. These documents are the same apart from the following important difference:
A person who holds an Enduring Power of Attorney has the same rights, on behalf of the incapable consumer, as any other consumer and can discuss private financial and legal issues with Consumer Protection.
Individuals can only make or revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney while they are still capable of making legal and financial decisions for themselves.
Even if you do not hold the Enduring Power of Attorney and suspect that a person in your care is the target of unfair trading practices, it is important you immediately advise whoever is responsible for their affairs.
Where a person is unable to give another person an Enduring Power of Attorney, the Public Trustee may be able to assist in the management of the person’s financial affairs. The Public Trustee ensures it’s clients have access to any legal service they may require.
The Public Trustee employs specialist solicitors, accountants and trust officers to represent:
Non-legal advice can also be obtained by calling the Consumer Protection Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
Our staff offer free conciliation and complaint handling services, and will help you with any inquiries.
When any purchase is made, the parties involved enter into a contract of sale. A contract is a legal and binding promise, document or agreement between two or more people. Contracts can be verbal, written or implied by
In some circumstances the people you care for may not have the capacity to make informed decisions, particularly when purchasing goods and services. They can easily be misled or have little understanding of the documents they are asked to sign.
Although some contracts have a ‘cooling off’ period, it is still important to understand the contract before signing any documentation.
Adults are considered to have the capacity to enter into a contract if they can:
The law presumes adults are of sound mind and have the capacity to enter into a contract, unless there is evidence this is not the case.
If a person’s capacity to enter into a contract is in question, medical and/or other evidence may be needed for a ruling to be made on the validity of a contract.
Scams, rip-offs and frauds often target the most vulnerable members of our community.
Scams can surface over the internet, by phone, through unsolicited email, mail or door to door soliciting.
There are many types of scams. The most common are:
As a carer or care worker, you are encouraged to forward to Consumer Protection any suspicious emails, letters, phone calls, or dubious door to door encounters that you, or those for whom you care, receive. With your
information, Consumer Protection can send an alert to other members of the public.
* Phishing is the attempt to gather private information with the intent of using it fraudulently. Do not provide information to unsolicited requests.
WA ScamNet is a service provided by Consumer Protection to help fight the growing problem of scams. The WA ScamNet website provides details of many different types of scams and has a list of those currently targeting people in Western Australia.
The website can help you recognise scams and know what to do if you suspect that you, or somebody for whom you care, is the target of a scam. It also provides links to other useful websites.
You can report a scam to WA ScamNet by:
Consumer Protection – DMIRS
Reply Paid 85406
Locked Bag 100
East Perth WA 6892
There are laws which protect you, and those you care for, when buying goods or services from door-to-door salespeople.
You have 10 business days to cancel the sale on goods or services worth more than $100.00. Your cancelling rights must be set out in the contract.
The salespeople are only allowed to visit you at certain times, unless they have an appointment.
Permitted hours for door-to-door sales are:
To find out more about the laws on door-to-door selling call our Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
Consumer Protection produces a range of publications, educational material and guides for consumers and traders. Copies are available on Consumer Protection’s website or by calling the Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
The publication Smart Choice 50+ contains a community directory to help place older Western Australians in touch with the support services they may need.
It contains a list of government agencies and peak-body community organisations that provide information, publications, advice, referrals and/or support services.
For a free copy of Smart Choice 50+ visit www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au or call the Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
The Office of the Public Advocate promotes and protects the rights, dignity and autonomy of people with decision-making disabilities to reduce their risk of neglect, exploitation and abuse.
Public Trustee offers independent, professional trustee and asset management services to the Western Australian community.