New consumer protection laws have come into force today. The Consumer Protection Regulations ban 31 types of unfair sales practices and closes loopholes that rogue traders have so far been able to exploit by establishing a catch-all duty not to trade unfairly.
The regulations are bad news for fortune-tellers, astrologists and other mediums, who opposed the new laws because they now have to tell the people they target that they are offering 'entertainment only' and that their work is not 'experimentally proven'. However, it's no doubt good news for the 170,000 people who fall victim to clairvoyant / psychic mailing scams every year.
And it are not only clairvoyants who will be heading to Jobcentre Plus. The regulations also ban practices such as establishing, operating or promoting a pyramid selling scheme, describing a product as 'free' when it is not, and creating the false impression that someone will win a prize when there is no prize. No formal objections were received from these corners…
Many more practices are now a criminal offence. It might not be the end of fake lotteries, work from home scams, miracle health cures and the likes, but it does give the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards the tools to prosecute more scam artists.
More information about scams is available on the website.