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.