News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 15 May 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 15 May 2017

In this issue:

National Awareness Campaign in efforts to crack down on Rogue Traders


Coventry Trading Standards have been taking action to target rogue traders as part of a week long national enforcement and awareness initiative.

Last week, police forces, trading standards and partner agencies across the UK were all  involved in enforcement activity aimed at disrupting criminals who masquerade as legitimate traders.

Rogue traders target the elderly and vulnerable in our communities, using intimidation tactics, deception and bare faced lies in order to con people out of money. The work is often expensive, sub-standard and sometimes not even required. Rogue trading is often also linked to distraction burglary.

The Rogue Trader campaign is designed to bring the spotlight on work which is occurring on a daily basis around this type of crime and to raise awareness of how everyone has a part to play in keeping the vulnerable in our communities safe.

Trading Standards’ advice:

  •  Never agree to buy goods or services from people who unexpectedly knock on your door: Do not be pressurised!  
  • Not Sure? Don’t Open the Door!
  •  Remember, anyone agreeing to a contract in their own home costing more than £42 is legally entitled to a 14-day cancellation period where they can change their mind. If you are not given cancellation rights, do not sign up.
  •  If you do need work on your property or garden, use a reputable local trader recommended by friends or family or someone who has been vetted and is part of the Trusted Trader Scheme, run by the Council and Age UK Coventry on 024 7643 3982.

You should report cases of Rogue Traders or uninvited doorstep callers to Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

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Coventry Trading Standards seize hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal cigarettes and tobacco


Over 1 million cigarettes and 170kg of hand rolling tobacco have been seized in the past year by Coventry Trading Standards officials.

The value of these confiscated goods would have been worth around £475,000 if they had been genuine UK duty paid goods. These goods however were either counterfeit or smuggled to avoid tax, so in terms of street value they would have been worth around £245,000.

This huge haul has been confiscated over the past year after Coventry Trading Standards conducted 148 visits to various shops across the city.  Seizures have also occurred from cars, vans and private houses that are often used to store the illegal tobacco. 

Read the full press release.

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Blue Badge online scammer fined

blue badge

Back in February of last year, we issued a report of bogus Blue Badge websites which were charging £49 for a badge.

The websites were asking for bank details, as well as other personal information, without the authority to issue a Blue Badge, and several of our local residents had reported being caught out by these scammers.

In March of this year, one such man and his 'company' were sentenced to financial penalties totalling £15,457.35 at York Magistrates Court.

The conviction follows an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team. Read more...

The official Blue Badge costs £10 and you can find more information on the eligibility requirements and how to apply or renew your Blue Badge on the Coventry City Council website.

We would remind residents to only use the official website for any government service such as renewing driving licences, European health insurance cards or passports rather than search engines that often display copycat sites.

Residents are advised to report websites that they suspect of being copycats to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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Recall: Aldi Madagascan Vanilla Extract


Aldi is recalling Madagascan Vanilla Extract because it was incorrectly packed with Moroccan Almond Extract. Although the label around the neck of the bottle refers to Moroccan Almond Extract, the product may still be a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to nuts (almond).

Product: The Pantry Madagascan Vanilla Extract
Pack size: 38ml
Best before date: 12 December 2017 
Batch code: L7058

Risk: Nuts (almond).

Advice: If you have bought the above product and have an allergy to nuts (almond), do not use it. Instead return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

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Recall: Cofresh Cornflake Mix snack because of packaging error


Cofresh is recalling a batch of Cornflake Mix snack because it has been mis-packed with Cofresh’s Salted Rice Sticks.

Only products purchased from ASDA or WM Morrison stores with this batch number are known to be affected.

Product: Cofresh Cornflake mix
Pack size: 325g
Batch Code: L13/080
Best Before end date: 16 December 2017

Risk: This product contains wheat (gluten) making it a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten.

Advice: If you have bought the above product and have an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten do not eat it. Instead return it to the store from where they were bought for a full refund.

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