On this page you will be able to find the latest warnings from Trading Standards, along with other warnings for residents, as they come in.
The latest Hampshire Trading Standards Scam Bulletin can be found here.
The links at the top will take you to various useful websites.
HOME SECURITY COLD CALL SCAM
Hampshire Trading Standards are asking residents to be alert to a telephone cold call they have received reports about. The caller questions the resident about their home security, and a home visit is offered. The aim is to sell the resident a security alarm system.
Concerns are that residents may unwittingly give out details that could compromise their own security. By agreeing to a home visit, they may be sold an alarm system which may not suit their needs.
Trading Standards advise residents not to agree to work, or to give out security details, to unknown persons over the phone. Best advice is to obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by phoning 01962 833620, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Buy With Confidence website.
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a ‘Notice of Right to Cancel’, which gives a 14 day cooling off period.
For further advice or to report an issue to Trading Standards phone our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
For urgent enquires, or where installation has been agreed to, phone Hampshire County Council's Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm), where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.
If assistance is required outside of these hours phone Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.
TELEPHONE SCAM - PAYMENT BY APPLE iTUNES GIFT CARDS
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service would like to bring residents’ attention to telephone scams where fraudsters cold call and demand payment of an outstanding bill. Payment is by purchase of Apple iTunes gift cards.
The fraudster may claim to be an official from HM Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Justice or other authority, and will threaten arrest if the payment is not made immediately.
Once the gift cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to provide the fraudster with the 12 digit code contained on the cards to “make the payment”. In reality, the fraudster will use or sell the code on-line where it can be exchanged for goods or virtual money.
Content of the calls may vary, but the demands are the same. In some cases victims have been directed to the nearest gift card vendor (supermarket or electrical store). Others have been made to give their mobile phone numbers, and have been called whilst at the store.
Residents can be assured that legitimate organisations will not operate in this manner. Any requests for payment by gift card should be viewed as attempted fraud.
Apple iTunes gift cards should only be used to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.
SUSPICIOUS TELEPHONE CALLS
Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service would like to bring residents’ attention to some suspicious telephone calls that have been highlighted to them recently:
Caller claims to be assisting the Police and Ambulance Service. They offer to visit the property to carry out a security check, and to see if medical assistance is required
Caller claims to be calling from the Citizens Advice Bureau, and offers to help clear outstanding debts. The caller may claim that they have been asked to contact the resident by a concerned person. Citizens Advice will not contact residents in this way
Trading Standards urge any residents receiving such calls not to respond, or to give out any personal information to unknown persons over the telephone.
Suspicions are that the callers may be trying to sell home security devices, such as burglar alarms, and may make exaggerated claims about their effectiveness.