Lancashire residents are being warned about door-to-door fish sellers, bogus house buyers, cold callers selling goods, and scam phone calls from people purporting to be from the Ministry of Justice.
The county council’s trading standards team has issued alerts following reports of suspicious activity during the last few weeks.
In Ramsbottom, there have been reports of door-to-door fish sellers using high pressure sales tactics to get people to buy more fish than they need. In some cases, the fish has partially defrosted and people are unsure whether it’s safe. People have been pressured into buying more fish than they expected, sometimes spending over £200.
There have been alerts about doorstep duster sellers in the Ribble Valley who have been using pushy tactics to get people to buy their goods. Whilst not illegal, trading standards would not recommend people buy goods in this way.
A lady from Accrington has been targeted by scam callers pretending to be from the Ministry of Justice. The caller addressed her by name and insisted that her husband had overpaid on the mortgage, so a £3,000 cheque was waiting for her and would be sent on if she gave her bank details and paid a £150 fee.
In Fylde, there have been some reports of people receiving a letter from a person claiming to be a cash buyer interested in purchasing their property. People are advised to be cautious as there have been cases where people have been conned with low prices being offered and hidden fees.
There have also been reports of bogus roofers operating across the county trying to charge too much for simple work or offering to carry out repairs that are not needed.
Paul Noone, head of Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: “We’ve had several alerts relating to door-to-door sellers.
“These include traders using pushy sales tactics, or recommending work that just isn’t needed.
“You should never agree to work offered by cold calling traders on your doorstep, and always do your research before buying goods and services. Our Safe Trader scheme is a great way to find local traders to do work around your home.
“We’ve also received reports of a telephone scam and a possible letter scam. Again, people shouldn’t agree to anything without going away and doing research and should never give their bank details to anyone who approaches them.
“Anyone wanting further help and advice should contact trading standards who will be happy to help.”
To find a trader in your area, visit www.safetrader.org.uk or call 0303 333 1111.
Contact our Trading Standards team via the Citizen’s Advice helpline, 03454 04 05 06.
You can report a scam to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.