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Watchdog alerts

Tuesday, 05 March, 2013 - Modified on Tuesday, 05 March, 2013 at 10:06 am

 

Staffordshire County Council have issued the following advice and information relating to scams operating within the County. Please be vigilant especially if you're aware of people who you know to be particularly vulnerable.

 

 

Charity Clothing Collection

 

Almost all collections are genuine, but some people will try to abuse the generosity of others for their own gain.

 

We have had recent complaints that charity bags which have been left on the driveway for a legitimate charity collection are being stolen before they have been picked up. 

 

Charities report losing upwards of £3million each year through theft of clothing and bogus collections.  Evidence suggests that a lot of clothing ends up being sold abroad.

 

So, we would recommend that if you want to donate items to charity, rather than leaving a bag of unwanted items on your driveway for collection it is worth considering donating items directly to a charity shop of your choice, this will then ensure that they are received by them and are not intercepted. If you have a lot of items, or are unable to get to a shop, many of them will collect from your home if you ask.

 

 

Rogue Traders

 

As the spring approaches, Staffordshire County Council are warning Staffordshire residents, especially those who are particularly vulnerable, to be wary of rogue doorstep traders offering home improvement services.

 

There have been reports of rogue traders operating in the Baswich area, therefore we would advise people to be cautious of callers offering services in their local area.

 

Trading Standards advice:

 

  • If a trader knocks at your door do not agree to on-the-spot house repairs or sign anything under pressure.
  • Check the trader’s identity.
  • Be wary of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe.
  • Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
  • Remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

 

Work carried out by these traders is sometimes unnecessary more expensive than originally quoted.

 

You can report matters to the Trading Standards 24 hour Emergency Rapid Response number on 07773 792 252.

 

If you are suspicious of any callers, please inform the Police right away.

 

Staffordshire Police non emergency number is 101 or in an emergency dial 999.

 

 

Telephone Scams

 

Staffordshire County Council is warning residents against not becoming the victims of telephone scams. If you receive an unexpected telephone call, be on your guard as it may be a scam and the individual on the phone may be after your personal details in order to commit fraud.

 

Each year, many people fall victim to fraudsters using the cold calling technique. These people phone individuals with the intentions of stealing their personal details and financial information to enable them to con them out of their cash. The fraudsters gain victims trust by sound convincing, professional and they often claim to represent a business you know, for example your bank or an official organisation. They may pressure you to act quickly, either because they want to trick you into believing you will miss a golden opportunity to make money.

 

Top tips to give cold callers the cold shoulder

 

  • Don’t engage in conversation with cold callers.
  • Always verify that callers are genuine, it is advisable to phone them back on a number you have.
  • Never give out any personal details if you are not sure who you are talking too.

 

To help stop silent calls contact Silent Call Guard on 0844 372 2325 this is a free service which you should register every year to keep these organisations away.

 

The Telephone Preference Service also helps you to make sure your telephone number is not available to organisations who may telephone you with offers and information you do not wish to receive. To register for free call: 0845 0700707 or visit www.tpsonline.org.uk