Supporting retirement village residents to know their consumer rights

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

With Canberrans aged 55 years and over most likely to fall victim to scams, a proactive education and awareness program is now underway across retirement villages to empower residents to know their consumer rights.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury joined Access Canberra compliance officers at an information session at a retirement village in Downer to see the program underway.

“We know nationally there tends to be an over representation of older residents falling victim to a wide range of scams and we see a similar pattern here in the ACT,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“In 2017 $73.9 million was lost nationally due to scams but of this $38.7 million was lost by people aged over 55 years old.

Aside from online scams, residents may also fall victim to fake charity appeals, lottery scams and even door to door approaches.

“These residents may be more trusting, and may not be as technologically literate when encountering scams online or elsewhere,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Through this proactive program our senior residents are provided with key information on how to identify, avoid and report scams as well as what they can do if they do fall victim.”

Access Canberra will visit 32 retirement villages between now and May with seven sessions undertaken so far.

The program also supports residents to understand changes to the Retirement Villages Act which occurred in 2016.

“Residents are also talked through changes in the Act and what it means for them when it comes to topics such as security of premises, administration of their accommodation, account management by providers and the management of disputes should they arise,” Mr Rattenbury said.