October 16, 2020

Norfolk Police – Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards

Please find below the Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/scams/consumer-alerts

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Hingham area – 15
October 2020
We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reorts of doorstep cold callers in the Hingham area.

Two men have been seen going door to door this morning, both are wearing branded tabards.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never give access to your property, agree to services, buy items or for return visits if approached in this manner.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold calling incidents – 15 October 2020
Watch out for doorstep cold calling even if you are displaying a No Cold Calling sticker.

This follows a number of recent reports from residents who have had cold callers at their door despite displaying a sticker, with some reporting that the callers can be difficult to turn away and, in some cases, verbally aggressive when the presence of the sticker is pointed out.

Recently the ongoing COVID-19 situation has led to reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be offering help to vulnerable residents or calling for health related reasons.

We are asking residents to report ALL doorstep cold calling incidents to us, especially if their property is displaying a No Cold Calling door sticker of any type. We are also offering the following advice:

* If someone cold calls at your property remember it is your doorstep
so your decision whether you even answer the door, if you can check
through a spy hole or look from a window to see who is there
* Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your
property are locked before answering the front door
* If the person is offering services or trying to sell something
politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
* If the person is claiming to represent an authority, organisation or
charity ask to see ID. If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to
check its validity. If you are given the ID close the door and
contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find
online or in the phone book, DO NOT use information on the ID, it
could be fake
If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you
can not verify it is genuine politely but confidently say you are
not interested and close the door
* As the cold caller leaves, if you can safely from inside your
property watch and see:
o Do they go to call at neighbouring properties?
o Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign written, can you see the
make, model, colour and registration plate?
o Are they alone or working with others?
o Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were
calling and who they say they were representing – all of this
information is very useful to Trading Standards and the Police
when looking at Cold Calling incidents

You can report doorstep cold calling incidents to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary on 101. If you feel threatened or have concerns for vulnerable neighbours always dial 999.

Why not consider setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your community? You can find out more about our scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz <https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-advice/no-cold-calling-zones>

Rogue Trader Alert – Door to door fish sellers – 14 October 2020

Be vigilant for cold callers selling fish door to door.

This follows an incident in the Carleton Rode area where a resident was cold called at their property by a man who offered to sell them fish.

In the past these types of sellers have been known to use high pressure sales tactics and there have been issues with the quality of the fish being offered, whether the type of fish is as claimed, and whether it has been appropriately stored for transportation.

Our advice is do not deal with cold callers and never be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

If you are approached by this seller or are concerned about possible rogue trader activity in your community, please report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Police on 101. If you feel threatened by a doorstep cold caller or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household
cleaning and Christmas products – 14 October 2020

Watch out for doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning and Christmas products.

This follows an incident where two men have been seen cold calling at properties in the Drayton area. At one property they claimed that they were ‘ex offenders’ selling items ‘as part of a rehab scheme’. They were carrying rucksacks containing household cleaning items, Christmas cards and wrapping paper. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something. It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Scam Alert – Text messages about your accounts or payments – 13
October 2020

Watch out for text messages claiming to be from various companies and organisations stating there are issues with accounts or payments.

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into clicking on a link which will take them to bogus versions of the organisation’s genuine website. There it will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account, that payments can’t be made or that there is unusual or fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive messages like these our advice is:

* Do not click on any links or open attachments
* Do not reply to the message
* Do not call any numbers given in these messages

You can report suspicious or spam text messages to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726. You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726.

If you are concerned about the security of an account contact the service provider directly using the Customer Service number printed on the card, on a recent statement or via information available on their genuine website or app. Never use details provided in a suspicious text message.

If you think you might have responded to a text message scam and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.