Our colleagues in Trading Standards have been warning residents about two local scams doing the rounds in Warwickshire neighbourhoods. As we’re on the subject of doorstep crime this week we thought it would be useful to share this information with readers to help them stay alert to any suspicious callers.
Rogue Traders Follow Genuine Contractors Warning
Genuine county council contractors carrying out legitimate road repair work have reported that rogue tarmac gangs, have been going door to door knock householders and claim to be working for the council. These rogue gangs usually claim the tarmac is ‘left over’ and offer the resident or business the opportunity to have their driveway re-surfaced.
They will appear to be very friendly and plausible, but the work they do is generally carried out to a very poor standard. “Left over” tarmac has usually started to set, so trying to lay it at this stage will give a dry and crumbly finish. All too often householders report their drive surface has started to crumble or crack and weeds begun to appear within a couple of weeks.
Although initially seeming like a cheap way of getting a driveway improved, the final price is often higher than the householder was quoted. The rogues generally demand cash payment as soon as the work is finished with no proper receipt or guarantee being given.
To report a rogue trader phone 08454 04 05 06 and for more information visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
Can You Help Us to Clamp Down on Bogus Charity Bags?
Warwickshire Trading Standards Service is launching a bid to clamp down on bogus charity clothing collections (bags) – and they need your help.
Trading Standards Officers are concerned that some householders may be duped in to donating their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac to private traders when they thought they were giving to a registered charity. Many private traders now collect unwanted items using collection bags left on the doorstep. These items are then sold for profit either in the UK or abroad.
Whilst some traders clearly state they are private businesses, Trading Standards Officers are concerned that many private trader bags blur the distinction between what is ‘for profit’ and what is for charity.
This is because some traders claim that your donations will benefit ‘good causes’, but it is never clear to what extent, if at all, this is. Some bags also carry bogus ‘business numbers’ which some consumers mistake for genuine registered charity numbers.
Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers want to investigate these types of bags and are calling on Warwickshire residents to help.
Householders can either post their bags (or flyers) to us, or scan them in and email them (in both cases, please inform us where they were delivered)
Post: Freepost CV1898 Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service, Old Budbrooke Road, Warwick CV35 7BR or email:
Trading Standards Officers advise that if you want to ensure that your donation will benefit a charitable organisation, either give directly to a charity shop, consider using a charity clothing bank or similar, or donate via a charity shop collection sack. These should make clear reference to the charity registration number and many will also carry the Association of Charity Shops Kitemark. Consumers are further advised to read flyers carefully so as not to mistake a business registration number (often printed on these sorts of flyers), for a charity number.
If a householder has any doubts about a leaflet asking for donations, they can contact the Charity Commission helpline on 0845 3000 218 to check whether the collection is for, or on behalf of, a registered charity, or visit their website
All the information is online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams.