News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 1 November 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 1 November 2017

In this issue:

Remember, Remember the 5th of November


Bonfire night is an exciting time of year for children, young people and adults alike. Unfortunately, every year we hear reports where children and adults have been injured in accidents where candles or fireworks have set fire to their clothes, hair or even their hands.

In a bid to reduce these types of incidents, Coventry Trading Standards suggests that residents forget the back garden fireworks and instead get out and enjoy fireworks safely at an organised display.

However, if you cannot attend an organised event, Trading Standards offer the following advice when purchasing fireworks:

  • It is illegal to sell fireworks out in the open. Whatever you do, do not be tempted to buy cheap fireworks from places such as the back of a van, unauthorised market stalls or car boot sales *
  • Some shops may open for a short time before Bonfire Night but these may not meet British Standards – check first
  • Only buy fireworks bearing a CE Mark
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and follow the instructions on each firework
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and for putting used sparklers into
  • Make sure that the bonfire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving

* If anyone witnesses fireworks being sold in this way, we would ask that this is reported to Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.

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Warning to businesses: bogus advertising offers


Following a report from an Earlsdon based firm, local businesses should be on their guard to any unsolicited phone calls or emails from ‘publishing organisations’ offering to advertise the business in a magazine for a charge.

The warning follows a recent prosecution at Mold Crown Court brought by Flintshire County Council Trading Standards and the National Trading Standards Investigation Team - Wales, where a Company boss is now facing prison for conspiracy to defraud after setting up a magazine scam.

During the eight-day trial, the jury heard that businesses were conned into buying adverts in a magazine, believing it was published to raise money for the police and other emergency services.

The company falsely claimed that it worked on behalf of the police and other emergency services, falsely claimed it was a charitable organisation, and falsely claimed that a significant proportion of the money used by customers to buy adverts was donated to the emergency services.

Read the full story.

Other rogue publishers may also approach a business offering advertising space in a magazine or other publication associated with a worthy cause such as charities, crime prevention, drug awareness, hospitals or emergency service staff.  

There is usually no such publication, or just a small amount of copies are made for distribution to the businesses that have agreed to advertise.

Further information about this and other topics can be found on our warnings for businesses webpage.

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The PC scam continues...

pc scam

Once again, Trading Standards have been made aware of fraudsters using the name of well-known companies to commit their crimes in order to makes their communication seem more legitimate.

A Canley resident has reported a persistent telephone caller claiming to be from the Internet and phone company TalkTalk and alleging that there had been unsolicited activity on their Internet service.

They went on to say that this could be resolved but first remote access to the resident's computer was required.

When the resident challenged this, the caller initially hung up but then there was a second call threatening to disconnect the Internet access if the resident did not cooperate! This time, the resident hung up which is exactly the right thing to do.

TalkTalk have advised the resident that the call was not from them and was most likely an attempt to obtain personal information and money from them and had all the hallmarks of a scam.

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

Allowing remote access may let the caller install an antivirus programme that you can often download for free from the Internet. They may also take 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 etc. is not to deal with them no matter what they say or claim.

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Prosecution news: Shopkeeper fined over illegal cigarettes


A former city shopkeeper has been ordered to pay over £1,300 after illegal cigarettes were found in his store.

Raouf Abdullah, aged 45 of Thomas King House, Wellington Street, Coventry, appeared before city magistrates on 25 October.

Magistrates heard that Trading Standards officers visited his former store, Moris Eastern European Mini Supermarket in Caludon Road, Coventry.

Read the full story.

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Recall: Poundworld - Children's Hair Raising Mask and Hands


The following notice has been issued by the retailer:

Children's Hair Raising Mask
Product Code: M-48488
Barcode: 5050577484883
Batch: All batches

Children's Hair Raising Hands
Product Code: M-49080
Barcode: 5050577490808
Batch: All batches

Poundworld has identified a potential safety issue with the above products. Customer safety and satisfaction are of paramount importance to us therefore we have issued this product recall.

What should I do if I have purchased one of these items?

Please stop using the product immediately and return the item to any Poundworld or Poundworld Plus store - our stores will issue you with a refund or exchange.

If you have purchased this product for anyone else then please inform him or her of this recall and they can also return the product as above.

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Recall: Asda Little Angels Organic Beef & Sweet Potato Stew


Asda is recalling ASDA Little Angels Organic Beef & Sweet Potato Stew 12m+ as a small piece of plastic has been found in one product which could present a safety risk.

Product: ASDA Little Angels Organic Beef & Sweet Potato Stew 12m+
Pack size: 200g
Best before date: 10 September 2018
Barcode: 5054070907559

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

If you would like any further information, please contact Asda Customer Relations on 0800 952 0101

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams