ACCC warns Australians to be careful of carbon tax scams

The new carbon tax may be affecting electricity prices across the country, but it is not an excuse to gauge consumers.

That is the message from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and households are urged to come forward if they believe businesses are exploiting the tax.

"The ACCC is concerned that consumers may be duped into accepting a price increase for a product or service because of the carbon price, when the carbon price is actually not the cause,'' said ACCC chair Rod Sims on June 18.

"While businesses are free to set their own prices, if they make claims about the impact of the carbon price these need to be truthful and have a reasonable basis."

Anyone who believes a business is unfairly using the carbon tax as an excuse to raise prices should call the ACCC Carbon Price Claims Hotline on 1300 303 609 or fill out an online complaint form.

Furthermore, the ACCC has emphasised that Australians should be wary of scammers who may be looking to exploit vulnerable people.

Emails or phone calls offering to pay carbon price compensation or claiming that you need to pay money in order to receive a compensation payment should be treated with care.

On July 1, electricity prices will go up in most states and territories in order to compensate for the effect of the carbon tax. NSW and SA residents can expect to see bills go up by an average of 18 per cent, while the ACT will experience an increase of 17.74 per cent.

Posted by Charlie Moore