For your information. Rogue traders and scams reported to Trading Standards by Warwickshire residents and others.
A web version is available here: https://safeinwarwickshire.com/2022/02/17/valentines-day-scams-and-rogue-trader-warnings/
Valentine’s Day scams
Beware online dating approaches from men claiming to be doctors travelling to Syria to work in the refugee camps. The ‘doctors’ asks their victims if they could send their belongings, including a diamond ring worth over £10,000 to them for safe keeping. The victims are then asked to send money in order to receive the belongings. This can sometimes be several thousand pounds. They are encouraged to send the money after they are told that the belongings will be seized if they do not.
Criminals disguise their requests for money by dropping it harmlessly into conversation. They’ll appear vulnerable, emotional and in desperate need of your help. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.
Find out more: https://youtu.be/eBmJVWp64-E
Bogus tax refund
Residents have reported receiving bogus HMRC telephone calls. The callers state that based on their National Insurance contributions, the residents are owed a tax refund. Given that National Insurance rates have been in the news recently, it’s very likely that criminals will seek to reference the tax in any scam emails or phone calls.
It is unlikely that you will receive a telephone call from HMRC that you were not expecting. Treat all such calls with extreme caution.
If you are unsure if a communication from HMRC is real or not, you can contact HMRC via the official Government website: https://www.gov.uk/contact-hmrc
Bogus ‘green’ companies
More Warwickshire residents have reported receiving unexpected phone calls from bogus ‘green’ companies, falsely claiming to be able to offer free or discounted loft insulation via a Government scheme. They may claim that your current insulation is no longer fit for purpose or that theirs is of a higher standard. In reality, these bogus companies want to sell you loft insulation that is usually overpriced and unnecessary.
It can be hard to tell a good trader from a bad one over the phone or at the doorstep. Don’t buy from unexpected doorstep traders or those who contact you unexpectedly. Try to use businesses you know and trust or consider using a Trading Standards approved traders scheme: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders
For accurate advice on energy saving, visit this Government endorsed website: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ or phone: 0800 444202.
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Senior Trading Standards Officer