A SPATE of scams has been reported in Warwickshire.
The county’s Trading Standards officers are warning residents to beware of rogue roofers and bogus insulation companies.
Fraudsters are pressurising homeowners into buying a new roof or new insulation after making bogus loft inspections and falsely claiming the roof is on the verge of falling in, or that moisture readings indicate that more insulation is required.
They may attempt to hurry the consumer into making a quick decision by suggesting they can offer a cheaper price for the work if carried out straight away.
The work is usually overpriced and of poor quality. The rogues then disappear and can never be contacted if a problem with the work is discovered.
Trading Standards advised never to buy from unexpected doorstep traders or cold-callers. Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders to use Warwickshire Trading Standards’ approved trader scheme.
Rural businesses across Warwickshire are being warned to beware of scam publishers who sell advertising in publications with little or no actual circulation.
They cold-call businesses, falsely claiming to be working on behalf of the Police, Fire Service, or local council, and convince unsuspecting businesses to pay hundreds of pounds for worthless advertisements in safety or crime related school or community booklets.
The scammers then aggressively chase the businesses for payment, often threatening them with bailiffs and court action if they don’t pay up.
Trading Standards advised never to engage in conversation with these scam callers, and to put the phone down immediately.
Hoax mattress sellers
Scammers are again selling mattresses door-to-door across Warwickshire.
The bogus callers claim their mattresses are an expensive brand left over from a property developer’s showhouse, but in reality the mattresses are either second hand or cheap imports, some of which may not even meet UK fire safety regulations. The scammers apply false labels and packaging to make them look like the genuine product.
Consumers are urged to only buy from reputable traders.
Rogue rate reduction firms
Warwickshire businesses have reported receiving cold-calls from rogue rate reduction firms that claim to be able to reduce business rates, but in reality simply charge huge fees and don’t deliver on their promises. Businesses often receive these phone calls after they have been revalued and new rates applied.
Be particularly weary if you are asked to pay large sums up front.
Businesses can contact the Government Valuation Office Agency at https://tinyurl.com/3nnh78wp for help and advice concerning business rates.
To make a consumer complaint or for consumer help and advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for consumer or business help and advice, including details of Warwickshire Trading Standards’ approved trader scheme.