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Fair Go: June 22

Published: 6:06PM Wednesday June 22, 2011 Source: Fair Go

Help the aged

Reporter: Phil Vine

Podcast: Sparks fly as Phil confronts a couple of Fair Go old boys selling mobility scooters to the old and vulnerable.

There are some consumers who should be treated with special care. The people who buy mobility scooters fit squarely into that category. Those selling them are dealing exclusively with the old and vulnerable. So when police told us that an outfit that's already been on the programme for ripping people off is plunging into this fragile market we took immediate action. Regan Sharrock and Derek Abrams made Fair Go in 2007 selling ventilation systems which were supposed to heat houses. Dozens of people told us they didn't and there was something of a confrontation when we tracked Mr Abrams in Taranaki. This month Phil was back there again after complaints that a company called Mobility Specialists, director Regan Sharrock, was operating out of Derek Abrams' address in New Plymouth.

We'd heard from police, grey power and other community organisations that the company had been pressure selling door to door to elderly people up and down the North Island. One such customer was 89 year old Dave Avery. Regan Sharrock had sold him three different scooters. The last one was supposed to be new. A dealer told us it was two years old and sold at an inflated price. When Mr Avery tried to return it he rang the company 49 times with no joy. He's $1400 out of pocket. He told Fair Go that Regan Sharrock had drunk beer with him at the rest home and he considered him a friend. "I can't believe he took me for a ride."

THE SHELF LIFE OF COSMETICS

Reporter: Ruwani Perera

Podcast: If you're trying to get rid of some cosmetic clutter a good place to start is getting rid of products that are past their best - but how can you tell what's worth hanging onto and what's ready to be thrown out?

Some make-up products last longer than others - so you could be holding onto ineffective stuff that's well past it's best.

Here a guide:

Lipstick- 18 months to 2 years

Lip-gloss- 1 year. Glosses that come in a tube last longer than those in a pot

Mascara- 6 months, although most mascaras will be dry and flaky after 3 months if they are used every day

Liquid and cream foundation- 2 years.

Powder- 2 years.

Eye shadows and powder blushers - 2 years

Lip and eye pencils - 2 years

Moisturiser- 2 years

Sunscreen- one season

Perfume- 3 years if kept in a dark, cool place.

Points to remember:

The more a product is exposed to air and potential bacteria, the shorter its lifespan.

Look for the little open jar symbol on reputable brands - it will tell you how long a product will last once it is opened.

Powders last longer than liquids and liquids in pump bottles keep longer than liquids in jars. Most products will last at least up to 5 years like in a cupboard where it's cool and dark. Until you open it it won't actually become active.

Throw away anything that's broken, anything that's missing a lid or cap or anything that bacteria would have got into and been contaminated over a period of time when it should've been sealed.

Street Scamming

Reporter: Ali Mau

Podcast: How careful are we with our personal information in the digital age? How likely are we to fall victim to cyber crimes, including identity theft? Following the success of similar experiments overseas, Fair Go set up a "scam" in downtown Auckland to see how willing we are to hand over personal details.

We give our actor Aaron Beard and new name, "Andrew", a clipboard and an identity tag that said he was from a commercial security company which was gathering information ahead of a move into the home security market. He is also offering the chance to win a "dinner for two" - which gives him reason to ask for name and address details. We filmed the results on two hidden cameras.

In a short space of time "Andrew" is able to collect information from a range of people who stopped to talk. Former policeman, and now private investigator, Ron McQuilter joins Ali to analyse the footage. He explains why giving up these kinds of personal details can put you at risk of becoming a victim of a range of crime, from burglary, to identity theft.

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