News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 19 July 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 19 July 2017

In this issue:

Doorstep caller warning


Trading Standards is once again warning of cold callers offering to clean gutters after another report, this time from the Tile Hill area.

As happened in other areas of the City, a small contract for cleaning gutters progressed to a claim that major works on the main roof was required at a considerable cost. The trader even drove the resident to the bank to withdraw the cash as they would not accept any other form of payment. No paperwork was issued and all we have is a name of a firm and a mobile number that is no longer being answered.

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.

Do not accept the word of a stranger who just happens to knock on your door!

If you have any information that may help us track down these unscrupulous cold callers or you wish to report any incidents involving a rogue trader or doorstep crime, contact us on 03454 040506 or use our online reporting form.

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Warning – bogus alarm sales calls


Trading Standards is putting local residents on their guard after national reports of an alarm equipment company who are telephoning older people.

This includes former Age UK and AXA customers and claims are being made that the callers firm has now taken over the home alarm business from these companies.

The information we have received suggests that these cold calls are being made by rogue/high pressure alarm businesses wishing to install monitored alarms in residents' homes. The alarms are often offered free of charge or at a low cost, but this will be linked to signing up to a high priced monitoring contract costing several thousand pounds. In these recent reports, bank details are being requested.

These calls could well come to Coventry residents, and the advice is as always to NEVER buy any goods or services from a cold caller.

If you do receive such a call please report the matter to the Citizens Advice consumer service – 03454 04 05 06. 

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Arrests in UK over Microsoft PC scam calls


We still receive regular reports involving phone calls from people who falsely claim that your PC has been hacked, it has a virus or has some other issue that they can fix for a fee but this will require remote access to your computer.

Scam attempts like these are unfortunately common and we have issued a number of previous alerts on this, especially those involving Microsoft.

In recent national news, four people have been arrested in the UK following an investigation into such scams involving calls from fraudsters pretending to be IT support staff. 

Allowing anyone remote access to your PC may let the caller install an antivirus programme that you can often download for free from the internet but it also give the opportunity to interrogate your PC for personal information which could be used for fraudulent purposes. They could also install malware that may damage your PC.

Our advice as with any unsolicited call or email from someone offering a service, is not to deal with them no matter what they say or claim.

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Lidl and Marks & Spencer urgently recall haggis products over food poisoning risk


Macsween of Edinburgh Ltd has recalled a number of its products, including products manufactured for Lidl and Marks & Spencer, as a precautionary measure, because of concerns over the company’s procedures in place to control Clostridium botulinum.

Full list of products affected.

Risk: The issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin may cause a serious form of food poisoning called botulism and can be fatal.  A recall from customers is being carried out as a precautionary measure. 

Advice: If you have bought any of the above products, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

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Recall: Primark Flip Flops

primark flip flops

Primark have released the following recall notice.

Kimball Numbers:

  • Khaki - 02387/07, 08, 09
  • Black - 02387/01, 02, 03
  • Blue - 02387/04, 05, 06

It has come to our attention that the footwear product detailed above does not meet the Primark usual high standards for chemical compliance. We have found levels of a restricted substance in the product in excess of the 1.0 mg/kg requirement.

With the safety of our customers and respect for the environment at the forefront of our minds we have taken the decision to recall this product and are therefore inviting you to return this item for a full refund.

The product was on sale in our stores from the 4 January 2017 to the 2 June 2017.

If you have purchased this product then please return it to any Primark store where you will be offered a full refund. You will not be required to provide proof of purchase.

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams