Trading Standards consumer news

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Trading Standards consumer news
close up of hands typing on a laptop which shows a picture of a woman in a face mask

Coronavirus scams warning

Beware of scams linked to coronavirus as fraudsters try to exploit the outbreak of Covid-19. Here are some warnings and advice to help you avoid coronavirus scams:

Be wary of suspicious emails as fraudsters attempt to exploit the spread of coronavirus.

BBC News - Coronavirus: How hackers are preying on fears of Covid-19. Security experts say a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus is the worst they have seen in years.

Beware of criminals pretending to be the World Health Organization.

Coronavirus scam costs victims over £800k in one month - alert from Action Fraud.

Worried you have been scammed? 

Report scams and get advice through Citizens Advice.

Visit our website for more scams information and resources.

pizza photographed from above

Eating out with food allergies

(For allergens see ingredients in bold.)

If you have food allergies and intolerance, eating out is a challenge. Information about allergens contained in food can be confusing and although businesses are required by law to communicate the information, it is not always customer focused.

It is essential to let staff know if you have an allergy or intolerance to foods even if information is provided on the menu.

When a Trading Standards Officer recently went to eat at a pub who agreed to provide a meal without wheat or dairy, it was fairly concerning when the meal was served with cauliflower cheese, or that a Yorkshire pudding was served that contained both milk and wheat.

In another pub, one of a large chain, they took great care to explain which foods could be eaten and which could not, but failed to recognise that the cheese in the sandwich and the butter on the bread were dairy.

If you have an allergy or intolerance don’t just rely on the menu to make your choices, as the vegan or gluten-free options may have been substituted for something else, as vegan dessert served recently was actually a dairy ice cream. Make sure staff are fully aware of your needs and once the food arrives double check just to make sure!

Allergy to dairy (milk) includes foods containing milk, cream, butter, buttermilk, cheese, yoghurt, whey, curd, ghee and other milk proteins. 

Food allergy and intolerance information from the Food Standards Agency.

Allergy guides from Allergy UK.

A discarded shopping trolley in a wooded area surrounded by rubbish

Tackling litter and fly tipping

Clean Devon is a partnership of organisations working together to tackle litter and fly tipping across Devon. Launching this month, the group will look to share expertise and information with businesses, local and parish councils and the Devon public to reduce the scourge of litter and fly tipping. The partnership will share information about its work and how you can help through its website

Litter and fly tipping are putting a major and growing financial burden on society. This environmental vandalism blights communities and has serious public health consequences. With the key roles that the world-class environment, agriculture and tourism play in Devon’s prosperous economy it is critical that litter and fly tipping, which impact seriously on these areas, are tackled with an innovative, enterprising and collaborative approach. Dealing with fly tipping and litter in Devon is estimated to cost at least £7million a year.

Our Buy With Confidence scheme is working with this partnership, encouraging waste hauliers to become Trading Standards approved. This membership will assure the public that as well as being licensed to carry waste to a proper facility, these businesses comply with the other legislation that relates to their work and provide excellent customer service. Together we can work towards removing the scourge of fly tipping from our communities.  

Find a Buy With Confidence business near you, or apply to become a member of the scheme.

To report fly tipping, contact your local district council.

March 2020

sun loungers and parasols on a beach with the sea in the background

Travel and coronavirus

Concerned about the impact of coronavirus on your holiday? Find out your rights around cancellations and compensation in this travel and coronavirus Q&A from the Journal of Trading Standards.

New tel number for Citizens Advice consumer helpline 

Need help or advice for a consumer issue? The Citizens Advice consumer helpline has a new phone number which is free from mobiles and landlines:

0808 223 1133
Textphone: 18001 0808 223 1133

Or contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline online.

Two trading standards officers standing in front of a van at Teignmouth docks

Job opportunities

Trading Standards Officer - two posts. Applications close 22 March 2020.

Regulatory Business Support & Relationship Project Manager. Applications close 18 March 2020.

Elderly lady talking on the phone

Apply for a free call blocker

Are you worried that you or someone you know might lose money to scam and nuisance calls via the landline? Say no to these calls by applying for a free call blocker for yourself or someone else through Friends Against Scams.

close up of hand washing a car with a soapy sponge

Safe Car Wash

Find out how you can help tackle modern day slavery through the Safe Car Wash app from The Clewer Initiative.

aeroplane in the sky taken from the ground

Flybe collapse

BBC News - Flybe collapse: your rights explained.

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Read more consumer news