Residents warned of bogus trading standards callers

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards team has warned residents to be alert to bogus callers on their doorstep.

It comes following a spate of incidents in the south-east of England where people have been targeted by a cold caller claiming to be a trading standards officer.

The man has then attempted to defraud the householder by claiming that he is due money in connection with previous work that they have had done, or in connection with thermal wall covering.

The householder is told that they will need to pay for court costs or other administration fees which they will get back at a later date. Victims of the scam have lost between £10,000 and £170,000.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “While there is no evidence that this bogus caller has attempted to defraud residents in Central Bedfordshire, we want to remind residents to be alert to potential scams.

“Our Trading Standards officers will never go door to door asking for money and should someone visit you unannounced they will always produce their photo identification and will be happy for you to call the council to check that they are genuine.

“If you are targeted in this way, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service so they can investigate further.

“Any elderly or vulnerable residents who are worried about being hassled by cold callers can sign up to our Nominated Neighbour scheme.”

The scheme sees people signing up to deal with cold callers on behalf of neighbours. They fill out a postcard and then their details are supplied to their elderly and vulnerable neighbours. In the event of unannounced traders arriving on their doorstep, they are directed to talk with the Nominated Neighbour rather than the person at whose house they have called.

Anyone who has concerns about cold callers or suspected rogue traders should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

For more information about Trading Standards’ Nominated Neighbour scheme, email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk