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Hampshire Trading Standards

 

   Hampshire Trading Standards Web Site

   Buy With Confidence Trader Check Web Site

   Advice from Trading Standards for Consumers Web Site

 

BE ALERT FOR COLD CALLERS AT THE DOOR OR ON THE PHONE - CLAIMING TO BE FROM THE COUNCIL

 

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service is repeating an alert from last year, urging residents to be alert to cold callers at the door and/or phone claiming to be from ‘the Council’.  The callers may claim the resident’s property is in the wrong  Council Tax Band, and that they are due some money back. 

 

They offer to investigate further but ask for a upfront fee, often at the door.

 

Reports have been received from the Basingstoke area, but warning applies countywide

 

Councils will not cold call or ask for money at the door.

 

Any resident wishing to check their Council Tax band can do this by calling the Valuation Office Agency on 0300 0501 501 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm).  There is no fee for the checking service.

 

For advice on scams, or to report a matter to Trading Standards, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

 

Further inform can be found on the following gov.uk website  Council Tax Appeals.

 

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN ALERT

 

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.
 
The subject line contains the recipient’s name, and the main body of text is as below:
 
“Hi, [name]!
 
I a.m.disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me.
 
For instance, your address is:
 
[real home address]
 
I a.m.a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file – [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is – 2811
 
Best Wishes,”

 
The emails include an attachment – a ‘.dot’ file usually titled with the recipient’s name.

 

 

This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

Protect Yourself:
 

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.
 
Please consider the following actions:
 

  • Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).

  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.

  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.

  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.

 

If you have been affected by this or any other fraud, report it to

Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

doorstep callers - driveway work & cleaning

 

Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning the public to be wary of cold callers at the door offering to driveway work, this includes offers to clean, seal and sand driveways, patios, etc.  Reports have been received from the Fareham & Chandlers Ford areas, but the warning applies to all of Hampshire.

 

Callers may offer a tempting price which the resident agrees too; but that price will be doubled when it comes to payment.  The reason given is that the price did not include sanding and sealing, and that the resident misunderstood the original agreement.   The sealing may not be effective.

 

Residents should always ask for paperwork before agreeing to have any work done in or around the home, this should include a right to cancel.  Also, to get a minimum of 3 quotes from different companies before proceeding with any work.

 

Although consumers have statutory rights when buying at the door, including a 14 day right to cancel for goods over £42, the right to a refund, replacement or repair if the goods are faulty, falsely described or not fit for purpose.  Those rights can only be exercised if the seller is a trader, and if they give full and correct contact information. The trader must also give a consumer paperwork detailing a 14 day cancellation period. This paperwork must also request your authorisation to start within the 14 day cancellation period.  Please note that if you agree for work to start within the 14 days but decided to cancel within the cancellation period a consumer must pay a reasonable sum for the work completed. Trading Standards recommend residents do not buy goods at the door.

 

For further information on buying at the door,  click on the following link to Hampshire Trading Standards website Your rights when buying at the door

 

Members of Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

 

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

 

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666

(Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs)

 

where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice. 

 

If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.

HAMPSHIRE TRADING STANDARDS ARE WARNING RESIDENTS TO BE ON THEIR GUARD FOR COLD CALLERS

Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is reminding residents to be alert to cold callers at the door.  Recent reports involve a cold caller purporting to be an officer from the Office of Fair Trading investigating a company that previously did work at the resident’s address.  The resident may be told they are due some compensation, and may be asked for a contribution towards court costs.
 
It is thought that the cold callers are using information gained from rogue traders who are sharing information of past victims. 
 
Claims that the officer works for the Office of Fair Trading are untrue, and no contribution towards court costs will ever be requested by regulatory bodies.

Residents are advised not to rely on identity cards as a way of telling if the caller is genuine.  If the caller is claiming to be from a local authority, government body or the police, it is always best to make independent enquiries with that authority using a telephone number sourced by the resident.  Information provided by the caller, such as telephone numbers, should not be relied upon when making checks.
 
Although consumers have statutory rights when buying at the door, including a 14 day right to cancel contracts for goods and services worth over £42, the right to a refund, replacement or repair if the goods are faulty, falsely described or not fit for purpose.  However, these rights can only be exercised if the seller is a trader, and if they give full and correct contact information.  Trading Standards recommend residents do not buy goods at the door.
 
For further information on buying at the door,  click on the following link to Hampshire Trading Standards website Your rights when buying at the door
 
Members of Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
 
If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or require any advice on doorstep crime they can contact our Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday
- Friday / 0900hrs to 1700hrs). Specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice. 
 
If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.

Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is urging residents to be alert to cold callers at the door claiming to be from ‘the Council’. 

The callers say the resident’s property is in the wrong  Council Tax Band, and that they are due some money back. 

They charge a fee of £65 to investigate further, which is asked for at the door.

Councils will not cold call and ask for money at the door.

Any resident wishing to check their Council Tax band is advised that they can do this by calling the Valuation Office Agency on 0300 0501 501 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm).  There is no fee for the checking service.

 For advice on scams, or to report a matter to Trading Standards, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Further inform can be found on the following gov.uk website  Council Tax Appeals.

 

BE CAUTIOUS WHEN RECEIVING EMAILS FROM UNKNOWN SOURCES

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards would like to remind residents to be cautious when receiving emails from unknown sources.  Recently reports suggest that emails have been sent to residents demanding payment of around £800 for services carried out.  However, the company has not carried out any work.  It appears that the company name has been used fraudulently.

Suspicions are that this is a ‘phishing attempt, the intent being to gain personal to be used for fraudulent purposes.  But it is also possible that any links may contain a virus.

Best advice is to apply extreme caution when receiving emails from unknown sources.

Never respond to requests for payment where the sender is unknown.

Never click on a link.

Never give personal information online to unknown senders.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

For advice on scams or to report a matter to Trading Standards, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

 

hampshire trading standards warning about telephone calls about council tax rates

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards would like residents to be alert to unsolicited cold telephone calls whereby the caller claims that you may be in the wrong Council Tax band, and are paying too much.   Furthermore, for a fee they can look into matters for you. 

Any resident wishing to check their Council Tax band is advised that they can do this by calling the Valuation Office Agency on 0300 0501 501 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm).  There is no fee for the checking service.

For advice on scams, or to report a matter to Trading Standards, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Further inform can be found on the following gov.uk website  Council Tax Appeals.

 

HAMPSHIRE TRADING STANDARD WARNING ABOUT TELEPHONE CALLS BEING RECEIVED BY RESIDENTS IN THE NEW FOREST AREA WHO HAVE COMMUNITY ALARMS.

Hampshire Trading Standards Service have become aware of a suspicious telephone call being received by residents in the New Forest area who have community alarms, and would warn residents Countywide to be especially vigilant to such calls.  Reports suggest that the resident receives a telephone call from a company who says they have taken over from the resident’s existing community alarm monitoring company. 

The resident is told that they must buy a new alarm, which has to be programmed with three trusted contacts.  The alarm will automatically call the three contacts in the event of an emergency.  The new alarm will be sent in the post and costs £149, payment is taken on the telephone. 

There are serious safety implications involved with replacing community alarms, as the new alarms have no remote monitoring or back up in the event of an emergency. 

Trading Standards would urge residents not to agree to purchase the new alarm over the telephone, and to make enquiries with their existing provider before agreeing to anything.  Residents have the legal right to cancel telephone purchases up until the time they receive the goods.  Once received, there is a 14 day cooling off period, starting the day after receipt of the goods, in which the goods can be returned for a refund (although the company ¬may be entitled to charge return postage).

For further advice or to report a suspicious telephone call, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 05 06 07, or the Police on 101. 

To help reduce unwanted telephone calls, residents can register their number for free with the Telephone Preference Service either online or by telephone 0345 070 0707.

 

HAMPSHIRE TRADING STANDARDS WARNING ABOUT COLD CALLERS OFFERING FREE DRAIN INSPECTIONS

Hampshire Trading Standards Service would like residents to be alert to cold callers on the telephone or at the door offering free drain inspections.   

Once at the address the traders will convince the resident to allow them to conduct a survey of their drains using high quality cameras. The residents are then shown footage of this inspection on a small video screen. In a number of cases they are convinced by the trader that their drains are damaged and will benefit from a relining of the pipework which can amount to thousands of pounds. In some cases there are suggestions that the work is urgent and without the relining the pipes could collapse.

Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call, either on the telephone or at the door, or via a leaflet drop.  Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association. 

Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced. If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs)

 

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards would like residents to be alert to a telephone scam recently highlighted by Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

Action Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.

They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award – of typically £8,000 – and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).  Fortunately, very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this scam, but have reported to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.

Protect yourself:

•          There is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.

•          If you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a scam. End the phone call – do not give out any personal or financial data.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

For advice on scams or to report a matter to Trading Standards, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

 

cold callers at the door offering to pressure wash driveways and paths

Hampshire Trading Standards Service is warning the public to be wary of cold callers at the door offering to pressure wash driveways and paths.  Reports have been received from the Stubbington area, but the warning applies to all of Hampshire.

 One of the tricks used by traders is to tell the resident that the neighbours have already signed up to have their driveways cleaned. Prices quoted range from  £150 - £600.  Attempts to raise the price may be made if a vulnerability is suspected.  Little or no paperwork is given, and cancellation rights are not provided.  

Promises to return the following day to apply a sealer are often broken.   

Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call or via a leaflet drop. Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced..

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666

 

Some unscrupulous traders may try to take advantage of adverse weather conditions by cold calling and offering gardening work or home maintenance/fencing repairs.

Trading Standards have received reports of cold callers offering gardening work in the Milford-on -Sea/New Milton/Lymington areas, and would urge all Hampshire residents to be vigilant to cold callers at the door.  Sound advice is to say "No” to all doorstep callers and not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call

Hampshire County Council residents can request a free door sticker which states ‘We do not buy goods or services at the door - please do not cold call.’  By calling 01962 833620 or email doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk .

Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association. Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk  

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  Legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced.

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

 Quick Response Team on 01962 833666

(Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs)

where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.  If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service. Montgomery House  Monarch Way. Winchester  Hampshire  SO22 5PW 

Tel: 01962 833620

E-mail: doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BOGUS ELECTRICAL WEBSITE

Fraudsters have set up a high specification website template advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The fraudsters will request your card details via the website; however the purchaser will then receive an email stating the payment failed and they must pay via bank transfer.

The fraudsters entice the purchaser and reassure them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. The fraudsters are using the Trustmark fraudulently and have not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee.

Protect yourself:

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

 

scams bulletin - hampshire trading standards service

Read the November Issue of "Scams Bulletin".  The purposes of this scams bulletin is to enable Hampshire Residents to be aware and therefore guard against the type of scams currently being reported to the Hampshire Trading Standards Service.

 

SUSPICIOUS TELEPHONE CALLS

Trading Standards would like to raise awareness of a suspicious telephone call being received by Hampshire residents, particularly in the New Forest area. 

The caller, who may suggest links with Hampshire County Council or mention the Governments Green Deal initiative, states that cavity wall or loft insulation previously installed by the consumer may be faulty and requires remedial work.  They then try to arrange an appointment to visit the consumer.

·        Any person receiving an unsolicited telephone call of this type is advised not to agree to a visit. 

·        If a visit has already been arranged, we would advise that the appointment is cancelled.

Please report these calls to Trading Standards though our partners in the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 (If possible, with the name and/or telephone number of the caller).

Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work instigated as a result of a cold call Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced.

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service

Montgomery House, Monarch Way Winchester, Hampshire  SO22 5PW 

Tel: 01962 833620  Fax: 01962 833698   

E-mail: doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk

 

cold calling - care packages

Trading Standards would like to make the public aware of a recent incident in the Botley area, where an elderly resident received a cold call from a gentleman claiming to be from a company selling Home Care Provider Packages.  The resident already had a care package in place, and refused access. 

There is no reason to suspect that this is restricted to Botley, and we would like to warn all residents to be alert to any type of cold caller.   

Hampshire County Council provides a list of Home Care Providers within Hampshire.  Please note that these companies are not endorsed by Hampshire County Council.

Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work or agree to services instigated as a result of a cold call.   Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence, Buy With Confidence +Care Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the Buy With Confidence and Buy With Confidence +Care are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.  So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced.

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday - Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs) where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice. 

If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.

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