TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

JANUARY 2013

08/01/2012 Wine Investors £250,000 in the Red!
Investing in wine can be a risky business, warn Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service after consumers reported losing more than £250,000!
Trading Standards Officers are aware of a number of investors who spent over £250,000 each on ‘fine wine’ after being promised higher returns than those available from savings accounts or the stock market.
Many of the investors were approached following a sales cold call or junk mail leaflet.
Trading Standards Officers have discovered that huge commission fees charged by the wine sellers swallowed up most of the investor’s investment capital immediately. And, poor sales advice has meant that the wine they do now own is unlikely to ever accrue in price enough to cover their initial investment, never mind making a profit!
Fine wine is one of a number of ‘investment’ products which are unregulated, so consumers are largely unprotected. Whilst not all unregulated investment opportunities are misleading or fraudulent, investors are strongly advised to seek impartial and professional advice to avoid unscrupulous investment firms and bogus investments. Only deal with financial services firms that are authorised by the UK’s Financial Services Authority: http://www.fsa.gov.uk
10/01/2013 ‘Police’ Magazine Scam Surfaces Again
More businesses from the Alcester area have been targeted by a bogus magazine publisher cold calling traders to ask them if they would support a Police campaign on drink and drugs awareness.
The caller, who gave his name as Terry had a Liverpool or Northwest accent and provided the local Aldi store’s telephone number as a contact. There is no connection with Warwickshire Police.
Rogue publishing firms often claim to call on behalf of local emergency services in order to trick businesses in to buying advertising in publications with little or no circulation.
The publications are often safety related but they are almost never produced or produced and distributed in such small numbers as to be worthless in terms of advertising.

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