• Six Queensland communities have installed 'do not knock signage' to protect themselves from scammers. (Supplied)
Indigenous communities in Queensland have reported a "noticeable reduction" in dodgy door-to-door traders after installing 'Do not knock' signage.
By
Ella Archibald-Binge

Source:
NITV News
24 May 2019 - 2:49 PM  UPDATED 24 May 2019 - 2:49 PM

Cherbourg in the South Burnett region has become the sixth Queensland community to install 'Do not knock' signage at the community entrance and individual homes. 

The signs aims to deter door-to-door traders who unfairly target vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Tim Perry, business manager of regional operations and engagement for the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT), said the initiative was rolled out at the request of the local Aboriginal council. 

"We really want to help protect the community by educating and empowering them to exercise their consumer rights," he told NITV News. 

Mr Perry said many in Cherbourg had fallen victim to a scam which promised free laptops in exchange for signing up to a higher education course. 

"Suddenly they’re incurring HECS debts for something they didn’t really understand," he said.

"In some cultural circumstances, they would just agree with what someone was saying particularly if they were quite pushy and persistent – that’s what we want to stamp out."

Wujal Wujal in Far North Queensland became the first 'Do not knock' community in 2016, after several residents were conned into paying excessive amounts for white goods, funeral insurance and water coolers.

Mayor Desmond Tayley said the town had since experienced a "noticeable reduction in shonky traders".

The 'Do not knock' program is a joint initiative between local Aboriginal councils, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading.

Communities interested in signing up for the program can contact the Office of Fair Trading.

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