TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

FEBRUARY 2013

TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

05/02/2013 Businesses Warned of Bogus Trading Standards Call
A business contacted Warwickshire Trading Standards after it reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from the Warwickshire Trading Standards Service, claiming that the service had received numerous complaints about the business’s work.
Warwickshire Trading Standards has confirmed that this was a hoax call. Consumers and businesses should be wary of any unexpected phone call from anyone claiming to represent a Government Department. Always ask to phone back using a publically listed number.
05/02/2013 Another PPI Approach!
Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning consumers about another underhand approach by a company offering to claim back PPI compensation for them. The company phones consumers and claims they have overpaid their mortgages and are due a rebate, so as to get the consumer’s interest and details, from which they can offer to reclaim PPI payments.
One consumer reported such as call despite not having a mortgage or loans at all!
Report all unsolicited phone calls to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Your information can help them track down and fine people who pester consumers with unwanted phone calls. Visit:
If you paid PPI and are seeking compensation, you can do so for free:
05/02/2013 High Pressure Solar Panel Sellers Warning
Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning consumers living in the Leamington Spa area to be aware of high pressure sales phone calls and visits from people selling (or in some cases giving away) solar panels.
Consumers should not buy from the door or from the first person who they receive an unexpected phone call from.
Consumers should obtain professional and independent advice, visit:

04/02/2013 Business Rebate Scam
Businesses are warned to beware of cold calls from fraudsters who claim to be able to reduce their business rates. Warwickshire Trading Standards received a complaint from one business that was told that for a payment of £474, their rates would be reduced. The caller invoiced the business and told the owner it would take around five weeks for the process to be completed.
The business paid half the invoice immediately but the caller then disappeared without trace.
Businesses can challenge their rates for free, visit:
04/02/2013 Office of Fair Trading Scam
Fraudsters are cold calling consumers, claiming to be the OFT warn Warwickshire Trading Standards. The callers claim to be able to obtain Payment Protection Insurance compensation for the consumer. One consumer was asked to pay £250 up front in Ukash vouchers for this ‘service’.
Had they done so the fraudster would have simply disappeared!
This is an advanced fee fraud. Beware of anyone asking for up-front fees for any service, especially if they request the money be paid using Ukash vouchers or Western Union money transfer. These legitimate ways of transferring money are used by fraudsters because it makes them difficult to trace.
The OFT will never cold call consumers.
Consumers should be aware that they do not need to pay anything to claim PPI compensation. For more information visit:
04/02/2013 Porn Virus Scam
A consumer reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards that their computer had been ‘locked’ and a ‘Police’ pop up had appeared claiming this was because the user had been downloading music and pornography illegally.
The user was asked to make a credit card payment of £100 to ‘unlock’ their computer. The pop up notices appeared professional and made use of Police logos.
Trading Standards are warning consumers that this is an example of ‘ransomware’. Ransomware is a kind of malicious software that seizes control of a computer and demands a ransom to relinquish its hold over the machine.
It is possible that almost 3% of compromised users pay these bogus fines, making the scam very profitable.
Law enforcement bodies do not collect fines in this way. If your computer has been compromised do not pay up. To do so will also reveal your credit card details to the fraudsters.
Computer users should instead run good anti-virus software on their machines to clear the virus and protect themselves from future infection. For more information on computer safety visit: http://www.getsafeonline.org.uk
04/02/2013 Small Business Advertising Scam
A Warwickshire small business that paid £360 by debit card for advertising from a cold caller, later found that other payments had been made to promotional companies from his bank account without his permission, totalling over £1000! The businessman cancelled his debit card but then received aggressive calls and bailiff threats.
Businesses are advised not to accept advertising from cold callers. Check advertising contracts thoroughly and ensure the advertising opportunity is a genuine one. For more information about advertising scams visit:
04/02/2013 ‘Job’ Offer Scam
Job seekers should beware job offers that could see them out of pocket warn Warwickshire Trading Standards.
A Warwickshire job seeker reported receiving an unexpected email offering her a job. The offer came from someone who wanted to send her money which she would put in to her bank account and then transfer to a third party.
She would then be paid.
Trading Standards are warning that this a scam. The money sent to the unwitting job seeker would probably be a stolen or forged cheque. This would initially clear and the job seeker would send on the money to the third party.
However, when it became clear to the bank that money was stolen, this money would be reimbursed to the rightful account owner, leaving the job seeker out of pocket!

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