News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 10 August 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 10 August 2017

In this issue:

Warning as Coventry jobseeker loses money to job scam


Trading Standards is issuing a warning to jobseekers after  a Stoke resident reports losing £299 to a scam.

The resident responded to what they believed to be a genuine online job advert and was advised that an upfront fee of £299 was required to be paid by bank transfer in order to secure work.

After paying the fee, the resident found they were no longer able to make contact with the company, and unsurprisingly there have been no work offers forthcoming.

Fraudsters use fake jobs for many reasons; to gain financial reward by tricking job seekers into parting with cash upfront or to steal people’s personal information such as bank or identity details.

Trading Standards advise:

  • Do not give out personal details that are not relevant to an application process - such as bank account details, a National Insurance number, date of birth, driving licence or utility bill information.
  • Do not do everything online - at some point a job discussion should lead to a phone or face-to-face interview.
  • Do research about the company the job is with - check landline telephone numbers to confirm the job is real, and use social media and other sources to find out more about the firm.
  • Genuine employers or recruiters won’t ask for up-front fees for employment, training or CV preparation. Don't be tempted to pay, however desperate you are to find work.

Remember - All scammers are opportunists and use all sorts of avenues to prey on the most vulnerable in society. This is a prime example of how scammers target all ages and backgrounds, using the high unemployment concerns to target those desperate to find work and earn money in a bid to maintain their home and support their families.

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Warning: National reports of telephone cold calls claiming ‘potential fire risks’ with solar panels


Coventry Trading Standards is issuing a warning following national reports that in some areas of the country, residents are being targeted with telephone cold calls about ‘potential fire risks with solar panels’. This scaremongering is coming in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

During the calls the cold caller will claim that ‘an urgent visit is needed to undertake a fire risk assessment’ and in some calls it has been reported that the callers are making claims that if a fire is caused by the solar panels the fire service will not attend and house insurance will be invalid. 

These claims are false but are being used to put pressure on the householder to agree to the visit. Where ‘risk assessment’ visits have taken place householders are being told the solar panel systems require ‘solar isolators’ and through pressure selling techniques a number of people have made payments of around £3,000 for this addition to their solar system. 

We always advise to be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and NEVER agree to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner. 

If you have solar panels on your property and you have concerns about their safety or are looking to have any maintenance done to them consider contacting the Solar Trade Association for a list of their members.

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Bogus Dyson Engineer prosecution news


In the past, Trading Standards have warned residents of reports of companies’ cold calling consumers offering to service Dyson vacuum cleaners. The inference is that they are working on behalf of Dyson.

At Leeds Crown Court, two people who ran such a company that fraudulently serviced Dyson vacuums have recently been convicted of conspiracy to defraud following an investigation by National Trading Standards.

Thomas Scoffin (age 31 from Park Avenue, Leeds) and his mother Linda Scoffin (age 66 from Hall Drive, Lincoln) ran Leeds-based Excel Servicing Ltd. The company defrauded their customers – many of whom were elderly or vulnerable – by falsely claiming to represent Dyson and then conducting unnecessary servicing on their Dyson vacuum cleaners.

Read the full story.

Dyson have confirmed that a genuine Dyson engineer will only visit you if you have pre-arranged a visit through the Dyson Contact Centre.

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Recall: Mothercare loved so much bouncer


The following notice has been issued by the retailer:

Voluntary recall

Mothercare is undertaking a voluntary recall of the mothercare loved so much bouncer due to a risk of injury when using a bouncer that has been assembled incorrectly. In the event of incorrect assembly there is a risk that the fabric seat unit could become detached from the frame, which could result in a child falling through.

This bouncer was sold in mothercare stores and on the mothercare website.

Only bouncers with a batch date of 12/2015 onwards and with a barcode ending in 843611-3 are affected by this recall. The picture above indicates where this information can be found. All earlier versions are unaffected.

If you own one of these bouncers please stop using it immediately and return your product to a mothercare store where a full refund will be given.

If you have any queries please contact mothercare via email on:

All queries will be answered within 24 hours on receipt of the email.

This action has been taken to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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How to report scams