News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 17 January 2018

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 17 January 2018

In this issue:

In the courts


This week, Trading Standards have seen two successful prosecutions in the courts.

On 15 January, Mr Diyar Hussen Kadar, aged 34, of Villiers Street, Coventry was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to offences relating to illegal cigarettes found at his shop, 4 Ways Fine Food at 177 Walsgrave Road, Coventry.

Following a test purchase on the evening of 28 June 2016, when 1 packet of counterfeit Mayfair cigarettes was sold for £3, the shop was visited 30 minutes later. Officers found a bag containing 32 packets of various brands of cigarettes in a draw behind the counter. Officers also found 40 tobacco blunts on open display, which were illegal because the health warning: ‘Smoking Kills’ was not in English. 

Read the full story.

Also on 15 January, Mr Adam Newman pleaded guilty to 2 counts of permitting smoking to take place at Arabella, 181 Spon Street, Coventry, CV1 3BB. He was fined £360 and received a costs order of £1,640 which totals £2,000. 

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Facebook fake landlord scam warning

to let

Coventry Trading Standards is advising any would be tenant to be aware of a scam circulating on Facebook.

This was after a local letting agency reported that a property that they had on their books was being advertised on Facebook by the alleged ‘landlord’.

The post explained that the landlord was currently working away, and invited people to view the property by looking through the windows.

Anyone who would be interested was to then make contact in order to pay £1,500 to cover the deposit and first month's rent, and a contract with the keys would be sent through the post. The incentive for would be tenants is that no agency fees would be payable.

Anyone who may have fallen for this would have lost both their money and their potential new home.

In September of last year a couple in Devon were conned out of £1,200 by a fake landlord using the same scam.

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Action Fraud alert – fake NatWest text messages

nat west

Action Fraud have received reports about fraudsters sending out a range of messages purporting to be from NatWest that lead to websites harvesting personal banking information. 

Fraudsters are using specialist software which alters the sender ID on the message so that it appears as if it’s come from NatWest, adding it to any existing message threads on the recipient’s phone.

If you already bank with NatWest and had a legitimate message from them in the past this could easily catch you out. It seems to be targeting individuals regardless of whether they are customers of NatWest or not.

If you click on the link you’ll be taken to an exact replica of the NatWest website that asks for sensitive personal information including full name, address, contact details, PIN and debit card numbers. 

This is known as ‘smishing’. Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They will usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details.

A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you in this way. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by. 

Take Five to stop fraud

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Safety recall: Marks & Spencer - Remote Control Helicopter (AI Copter)


Marks & Spencer have issued the following recall notice:

  • Description: Remote Control Helicopter (AI Copter)
  • Product codes (on packaging): T09 8226M
  • On sale since: 1 October 2017
  • Price: £29.50

M&S is actioning a voluntary recall on this product due to a risk of the product overheating posing a safety hazard.

Customers who have purchased this product or received it as a gift are asked to return it immediately to any M&S store (except Simply Food and Outlet stores), where a full refund will be given.

The safety of customers is our top priority and we are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Any customers who have further questions regarding the product should contact Customer Services on 03330 148555.

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Safety recall: Poundland Microwavable Heated Hugs


Poundland have issued the following recall notice:

Please return your purchase as soon as possible.

  • Microwavable Heated Hugs – Product No. 271192
  • Barcode - 5054110003449, 5054110003456, 5057523711925

We’re sorry to say our “Heated Hugs” that you pop into the microwave have incorrect heating instructions on the packaging.

There is a risk that the pouch could over heat whilst in the microwave and as we take the safety of our customers seriously, we have taken the decision to immediately remove the product from our shelves.

If any of our customers have bought one of these as a gift or for themselves, we’d urge them to not use it and return it to one of our stores, even without receipt, for a full refund.

Despite loving hugable animals, we’re very sorry to any customers for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

The product has been on sale in Poundland and ROI Dealz stores for £5 and €6 from the end of November.

Should you have any queries or concerns regarding this information please call our customer service team on 0333 234 1877 Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm GMT, Closed Sunday & Bank Holidays.

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams