Warwickshire County Council Scam awareness Update

Warwickshire County Council

20-10-2016 10:57 AM BST

Buying a used car? Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning consumers to think twice before paying deposits to hold vehicles they are interested in buying.

Trading Standards has received an increasing number if complaints from car buyers who paid 'holding deposits' for vehicles which were then either sold to someone else before they could view it, or the vehicle was markedly different to the advert. In both cases they should have received their deposit back, but did not.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via  on 03454 040506.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert
20-10-2016 10:27 AM BST

Purchasers of second hand cars advertised on websites are warned to beware of a new scam involving the use of false vehicle registration numbers.

Consumers can now find a lot about the car they are interested in buying by putting the vehicle's registration number in to a free Government website, including information on a vehicle's mileage and condition.

This has led some unscrupulous sellers of dodgy vehicles to remove or obscure the licence plate of the cars they are selling on photographs posted on the Internet.

One Warwickshire resident expressed an interest in a vehicle that was being sold on a popular Internet classified advert website. The vehicle was shown without the number plates visible, so the buyer contacted the seller to ask for the registration number. The seller supplied him with a registration number and the buyer carried out a range of free and low cost checks on the vehicle. Satisfied with the result he then paid for the vehicle online and went to collect the car. When he arrived it turned out the the seller had given him a registration number for another vehicle of the same make/model, but not the one he had purchased. This car, the one he had paid for, was in a very poor condition with a high mileage!

Trading Standards advise consumers to be wary of purchasing vehicles without seeing them first and be suspicious of any advert where the licence plate of the vehicle cannot be seen affixed to the vehicle.

The new 'check before you buy' free web tools are now an important weapon in a car buyer's armoury to protect them against buying vehicles in a poor state that may be clocked or even unroadworthy. Some additional low cost checks can also help ensure that the car is not stolen or on finance.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via  on 03454 040506.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert
20-10-2016 09:42 AM BST

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of unexpected doorstep callers offering 'free, Government funded' cavity wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures.

Trading Standards are concerned that some unscrupulous traders may be using the offer of 'free' insulation to convince homeowners to sign up to energy efficiency measures that may not be appropriate for their property and may end up costing them money.

Funding for energy saving measures may be available to some residents if they are on certain benefits and own or privately rent their home, often via their energy supplier.

The Government has posted information on energy saving improvements and eligibility criteria on its website. Consumers can also phone the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

It can be very difficult to tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep. Trading Standards urges homeowners not to be seduced by the offer of something free on the doorstep. Residents should instead speak to the Energy Saving Advice Service to get the facts.

It can be difficult telling a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep - never buy goods or services from unexpected callers!

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert