TRADING STANDARDS ALERT 24th JANUARY 2013

23/01/2013 ‘Ebay’ Caller Warning
A resident reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards taking a call from someone phoning on an international number. The caller claimed to represent Ebay and asked the resident if he had made a £94 purchase which the caller claimed was fraudulent and would he like his money back? The resident was told he would need to download a Western Union ‘reclaim form’ and was given some strange instructions as to how to do this on his PC. The resident immediately put his phone down.
Trading Standards think this was an elaborate attempt to gain access to the residents computer, after which personal or financial information might be stolen or viruses downloaded.
Ebay is very unlikely to make cold calls to consumers.
23/01/2013 Energy Sales Cold Calling Scam
Consumers should again beware of unexpected doorstep callers trying to get them to change their energy supplier, warn Warwickshire Trading Standards. One elderly resident received an unexpected visit from an energy company representative who asked him to sign paperwork which he claimed was necessary to claim money back for some insulation work the resident had had done some time ago. The caller also asked for the residents date of birth and details of his energy bills. This warn Trading Standards is a classic attempt to deceive a resident in to changing his energy supplier without his knowledge or consent.
Consumers may save money by switching their energy supplier. However, they should shop around and use comparison websites, not sign up with the first person who comes to their door.
23/01/2012 Petrol Scam Update
Following our warning to consumers about a petrol scam issued in December 2012 (see below), Warwickshire Trading Standards has been alerted again to another incident. This time a resident was flagged down on a road near Dunchurch by a man who again said he had run out of petrol and asked for some money, offering some jewellery (probably cheap and fake, in return). He also asked for a lift to the petrol station. The driver said no and tried to drive off. The individual held on to the car and only let go when he saw that the driver was not going to stop. The Police have been informed.
Warning from December 2012
A consumer reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards being flagged down by a driver who claimed he had run out of petrol and had no money to buy any more. The consumer was asked (and gave over) £10 in return for a ring which the driver said he could hold on to as a ‘deposit.
The driver took the consumer’s phone number and told him he would phone him to arrange the return of the ring and payment of the £10. The driver then took off, leaving the consumer no contact details. The consumer reported he had not heard from the driver since but still had the (probably worthless) ring!
22/01/2013 Rogue Snow Clearer Warning
Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning residents to beware of rogue door to door traders offering to clear snow from pathways and driveways.
Officers have had reports that some rogue traders have switched from tarmacing and roofing repairs to snow clearance. Rogue traders carry out poor work for high prices and once they are on your property will look for other ‘jobs ’ to do!
Residents are advised not to buy goods or services from unexpected callers.
22/01/2013 Clothing Collectors
Warwickshire Trading Standards has again been alerted to clothing collectors operating in the Warwick/Leamington Spa area. Residents are warned that not all collectors are operating on behalf of a charity. Many collectors are businesses who collect for profit, in a similar way to scrap metal collectors. If consumers want their old clothing to benefit a charity, use a registered charity bag, charity clothing bank or charity shop.
22/01/2013 Ministry of Justice Scam
A Warwickshire resident who thought she was speaking to a Ministry of Justice official when she was phoned unexpectedly has been conned out of over £600. The bogus caller claimed she was owed money for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance. She was then asked to send over £600 in UKash vouchers in order to receive her ‘refund’.
Warwickshire Trading Standards Service is warning consumers that if they are asked to send money in advance of receiving any rebate/winnings/compensation etc. then they have almost certainly been targeted by fraudsters.
21/01/2013 Council Tax Rebate Warning
Warwickshire Trading Standards has received a number of complaints from residents who have been targeted by businesses offering to sign them up to ‘Council Tax Rebate Schemes’.
The businesses send residents paperwork to sign and then follow up with high pressure phone calls. They claim to be able to lower the consumer’s council tax. If they achieve a reduction, they will take a percentage of any rebate a resident might be awarded.
HOWEVER residents should be aware that it is FREE to challenge your council tax band and that you DO NOT need to employ a third party to carry out this work for you.
Residents should also be aware that by challenging their council tax, the amount they pay could go up as well as down.
For more information, visit the Valuation Office Agency:
There are also a number of consumer advice websites that can help you decide if it is worth you challenging your band.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH ALERT 24th JANUARY 2013

NHW RU Incidents at homes in Church Lawford, Long Lawford & Binley Woods
Please be aware of the following incidents which have occurred in your area over recent days:

Incident 190 of 22 January
Between midnight and 7am on 22 January offenders kicked through a cat flap at a home in Smithy Lane, Church Lawford and then attempted to reach up to open the door with keys which had been left in the lock. The offenders failed to reach the keys and open the door and nothing was stolen.

Incident 305 of 22 January
At 6.45pm last night, 22 January two male offenders called at the home of an elderly person in South View Road, Long Lawford and informed him that they had lost their dog. They asked the resident of the house if they could come into the house to check the rear garden for the dog and the resident allowed them in.

After the two males had left, the resident realised that his wallet, containing cash, had been stolen.

Incident 49 of 23 January
At 8am this morning, 23 January, a male asked the resident of a home in Heather Road, Binley Woods if he wanted his drive jet washing, as the resident was running his vehicle to defrost it. The offender then attempted to steal the car but was chased off and into a blue Pick up truck.

The male is described as white, around 18 years of age with short dark hair. He had a frail build and was around 5ft 6in tall. He is described as having a Travellers accent and was wearing a black tracksuit.

If you have information that you believe may be connected to any of these incidents please contact Police on 101 quoting the incident number given. Thankyou.

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