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Be on guard against fake Trading Standards Officers

PUBLISHED: 13:25 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:26 26 February 2015

Beware of bogus callers

Beware of bogus callers

Archant

Warning follows previous attempted scams in Bexley

Residents are being urged to be in their guard against bogus Trading Standards Officers.

A scammer calls at homes, claims to be a Trading Standards Officer and attempts to defraud the householder by saying that they are due money in connection with previous household work that the resident has had carried out.

The householder is then told that they will need to pay for court costs or other admin fees which they will get back at a later date.

There have been five recent incidents reported in and around London area, with one victim losing £170,000. Others have lost £10,000 to £24,000. In each instance police are involved and there are suggestions that the scam may be taking place nationally.

The borough is not new to the scam. Last year an elderly Bexleyheath man was approach by a bogus Trading Standards Officer calling at his home, claiming that the householder had been overcharged by a double-glazing company.

The bogus officer then asked for the resident’s bank card and account so that he could arrange for money to be returned to him.

Fortunately, the resident had previously attended a talk given by Bexley Trading Standards and knew exactly what to do. He turned the scammer away and contacted Bexley’s Trading Standards team on their dedicated rogue trader number.

Bexley Council commented: “Remember, Trading Standards Officers will never ask you for money.

“If you are in any doubt about someone at your door claiming to be a Trading Standards Officer, please call the council on 020 8303 7777 to check if the officer is genuine and do not let them inside your home until you have checked.

“A genuine officer will not mind waiting while you do so.”

Alternatively, the council urges people to keep a note of the dedicated rogue trader number 07716 116452. - which you can use to report a doorstep scam actually taking place.

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