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Scams

  • Business

Scams and doorstep traders 

If you have information about scams or dodgy doorstep traders in your area we would like to know. Firstly contact Citizens Advice consumer service. Citizens Advice will be able to talk you through how to get a refund of any money due.

Also report the information to us using our Trading Standards complaint report form.  If you can give descriptions, telephone numbers, vehicle details, information about who they claim to work for, this will help.  We will then use this to alert other people to the issue  You may also wish to report it to Action Fraud.

Rogue trader sales tactics

There are many ways that dodgy sales people can persuade you to part with your money.

  • They may be friendly, charming and draw you into conversations about your family and friends.
  • They may say that the offer is only available for a limited time and there are only a few items left at that price.
  •  They may trick you into agreeing with them, which makes it difficult to say ‘no’ if they ask you to sign a contract. 
  • Some will go as far as driving people to the bank so they can withdraw more money. 
  • They may ask you to make a payment by UKash, UKash is a legitimate and conveinent way to make payments, however some scammers take advantage of this.  Stay up to date with the latest advice on to keeping your UKash money safe.
  • They may pretend to be a official person, ie the police, trading standards, etc.  Always call the organisation they claim they work for to confirm the identity of the doorstep caller.

Common scams and rip-offs

Someone knocks on your door:

  • claiming to be working in the area, saying they have some tarmac and can surface your drive at a cut-price rate.
  • Someone knocks at your door saying that have noticed you have a loose tile or some other work that needs doing urgently;
  • offering to buy antiques or jewellery. This might be so they can give you a low price, or so they can get into your home to see what else you have that’s worth stealing. In these cases we strongly advise you not to allow them to enter your home. If you do want to sell your possessions use an established antique dealer and get more than one quotation
  • offering disability equipment and aids.  You may be convinced by the caller that you need certain equipment and that the price they offer you is a special deal “for that day only!” If you think you need mobility equipment or perhaps a hearing aid contact your local social services occupational therapist who will be able to advise you.
  • wanting to switch your gas and electricity supplier.  Even if you do not want to switch suppliers they may ask you to sign a form confirming their visit and tell you that the information won’t be used unless you agree to change supplier at a later date. Don’t sign anything as this will be used to switch you to a new supplier.  If you wish to change your energy provider consider using a energy company comparison website to look for the best deal.

Someone calls you up

  • saying they are from microsoft and they have discovered a virus on your computer
  • saying you have won a prize, but you never entered a prize draw

You receive a email/letter

  • Saying you have won a prize, but you never entered a prize draw
  • Saying a distant relative/person with a similar name has died and they want you to inherit their millions. Please note there are many legitimate "heir hunter" companies that do tis but there letters will have a full postal address and company information.  You will be easily able to make enquiries in relation to the legitimate companies
  • Saying that they want you to help a foreign national get their millions out of a foreign country

Scam and rogue trader alerts

If you live in Barnet and you receive a phone call or email or letter that you think might be a scam or someone knocks at your door and acts in a way that you think they might be a rogue trader we want to know about it.  We can then put the information here and alert other residents in the area. 

You can also find up to date fraud alerts at Action Fraud.

Contacts

  • Trading Standards Team
  • Barnet House
    1255 High Road
    Whetstone London N20 0EJ
  •  
  • Tel: 03454 04 05 06
  • Email: trading.standards@barnet.gov.uk

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