Investment seminars duping clients

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Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said a number of eastern states’ operators have been conducting “free” seminars in WA, and more are scheduled, but those who attend may not be getting what they expect.

“The advertising of these seminars give the impression that those who attend simply receive free information about how to secure their financial future but, in fact, they are subjected to high pressure sales tactics that promote coaching and mentoring programs costing between three and 10 thousand dollars ,” Driscoll said.

She said the free presentations highlighted the benefits of investing while downgrading the risks involved. They also appeared to exaggerate the potential gains from property and other investments.

 “We believe some of the courses and programs on offer are just the next stage to get investors to make large financial investments that will be of benefit to the promoter, or simply a way to sell their coaching and mentoring packages.

“I am concerned that the practice of offering special discounts to sign up on the day is designed to prevent the participants from having time to think carefully about their decisions and getting some independent professional advice,” she said.

Consumer Protection has reviewed advertising material and seminar content and is preparing to issue substantiation notices to ensure promoters are able to justify the claims and representations that they make to members of the public.

  • Wayne Slager, Real Property Advice on 22/05/2013 1:27:31 PM

    Couldn't agree more. Innocent Observer is correct. This has been happening for years. Long ago, Noel Whittaker, speaking of tele-marketers (but equally applies to seminars, esp. property in or outside smsf) observed that there was invariably "more in for the person making the call then the person receiving it." Still holds true today. Caveat Emptor indeed.

  • David M on 22/05/2013 10:42:25 AM

    We even have property spruikers part owned by the unions here. Is there no section of this industry I can escape their competition?

  • Rob on 22/05/2013 10:10:47 AM

    I love the fact that it is Eastern State operators doing it. Remember Great Southern Anne? Westpoint? Bondy? Connell? Poor innocent wild westerners

  • James on 22/05/2013 10:05:01 AM

    This is a form of evangelical wealth hype widely practiced in the UK and US. I was wondering how long it would take to get here. The sole purpose is to get participants to sign up for more “self-help seminars” which costs big $$.

  • Innocent Observer on 22/05/2013 9:50:43 AM

    Is this news? Been happening for years, and dare say it will continue on. The biggest culprits are the property spruikers (values double every 7 years, don't you know?), but they're untouchable while property isn't a financially regulated product. Also, it's better for some over-excited seminar-goer to blow $10k on one of these scams than some of the "long games" being played by some of the property "investment" clubs

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