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Commission alerts public to ‘back of a van’ scam

Commission alerts public to ‘back of a van’ speaker scam

The Commerce Commission is alerting the public to an international scam that may have hit New Zealand shores involving the sale of fake brand speakers from the back of vans.

The stereo speakers, which carry the brand names Pro Audio or Acoustic Reference, have been promoted overseas as being made or developed in the USA, come with a ‘certificate of authenticity’ and are sold at prices of up to $1,500 per pair. The speakers are in fact made in China and have an estimated value of $50 per pair.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that consumers overseas had been duped by the scam and the Commission is concerned that New Zealanders could also be targeted.

“The salespeople usually operate out of the back of vans and approach people unsolicited with a sales pitch that is usually along the lines that they have an extra order that they can’t return to the warehouse, so they will do a good deal,” Ms Battell said.

“We do not, as yet, have any evidence of the speakers being sold locally, however we are concerned people do not get conned into buying these speakers or other ‘fallen off the back of a truck’ type products. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

Members of the public are encouraged to call the Commission’s Contact Centre on 0800 943 600 if they are concerned that they or others may have been misled by the scam or if they hear of anyone operating in this manner.

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