News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 20 June 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 20 June 2017

In this issue:

Rogue Trader warning


Residents are once again being warned to be on their guard if approached by cold callers offering any type of property maintenance.

This comes after reports from the Finham and Styvechale areas where residents have been approached by various traders offering tarmacking and dropped kerbs as a ‘job on the side’.

Having a dropped kerb is a lot more complex than just employing a trader to carry out the work. Any resident who may be considering having such work done can find full information on the required process issued by the City Council.

Our advice to residents is to never buy services or goods from businesses that make contact out of the blue such as traders knocking on the door, or responding to leaflets put through your letterbox. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous people who use cold calling as a method to defraud money from residents, by undertaking unnecessary or overpriced work.  Often, the quality of the work is also very poor or ineffective, and it can also be difficult to make contact with the traders should there be issues in the future.

If you do need work on your property or garden, use a reputable local trader who has been recommended by friends or family or someone who has been vetted and is part of the Age UK (Coventry) Trusted Traders Scheme, a partnership with Coventry Trading Standards. This service is available to people of all ages living in the Coventry area and can be contacted by phoning 024 7643 3982.

Coventry Trading Standards also has a free ‘Stop Cold Calling’ sticker pack to help deal with the growing problem of unwanted callers at your door.

The Police have also issued a warning as the temperature starts to rise:

“… we are encouraging our communities and Neighbourhood Watch schemes to remind their neighbours to make sure they do not leave their windows and doors insecure and keep out the summer burglar”.

REMEMBER - a trader who ignores any request by you to leave your home and not return commits a criminal offence.

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Trading Standards prosecution news


A shop in Foleshill has had its licence revoked after Coventry Trading Standards officers found illegal cigarettes hidden in a sewage drain and sweet jars.

The Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Sub-Committee heard that officers, accompanied by a specially trained sniffer dog, discovered stashes of illegal tobacco just a few months after Sam Mini Market on the Foleshill Road had its licence to sell alcohol and tobacco granted. 

Read the full story.

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Scam loan company warning


Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after a Binley resident responded to an unsolicited email offering a ‘fast loan’ in the name of what was believed to be a genuine company.

After making the application, the resident was then asked to pay a £250 ‘tax’ into a bank account in a different name to that of the company. After paying, the resident was unable to make any further contact, and the loan was not forthcoming.

Bogus loan companies and fake credit brokers will often hide behind genuine company names or websites. They target those with poor credit ratings and ask for an upfront fee to cover administration or insurance costs for the loan, usually to be paid via money transfer companies. Once this fee is paid, the victim does not usually hear from the company again and the loan is never received. This is a variation on the Advance Fee Fraud.

The advice is always to be vigilant when dealing with or taking calls from any unexpected telephone calls, or responding to unsolicited emails. Never disclose any personal or financial information.

If you are in a circumstance where you have a bad credit history but are in need of a loan, consider seeking support from a Credit Union who can provide an effective and viable alternative to the so called ‘pay day lenders.’

To find your local credit union visit or call the Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul) on 0161 832 3694.

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UK's fraud hotspots revealed by Which?

action fraud

The capitals of dating fraud, computer repair scams and a host of other frauds have been revealed in exclusive analysis by the consumer champion Which?.

It comes as Which?’s analysis reveals that reported fraud in the UK has risen by more than 10% in one year (2015-16), with 264,204 frauds reported in 2016.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Which? requested and obtained thousands of fraud reports made by victims during 2014-16 to Action Fraud (AF), the main reporting body for UK fraud. Which? has used these to map areas where certain types of fraud appeared to be more prevalent.

Whilst Coventry did not feature in this report, our neighbours in Warwickshire showed as a hotspot for retail fraud.

Read the full article.

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Recall: Next child's sandals


Next have recalled a child's sandal due to a potential choking hazard.

The retailer has issued the notice below:

We wanted to get in touch with you because we've identified a problem with the sandal shown above. You’ll find the item number (193426) on the heel strap.

Unfortunately, it's come to light that there's a potential problem with the star rivets, which could become detached, presenting a choking hazard to young children.

As the sandals don't meet our strict technical specifications, we've taken the decision of recalling them, and we’re requesting that you return them to us for a full refund.

Please call us on 0333 777 8185 to arrange a collection, or return it to your local store (for a full refund), if this would suit you better. If you've given this item as a gift, please ask the recipient to get in touch with Next.

We're very sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience this may cause, but we hope you'll understand that customer safety is our highest priority.

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