THERE are many legitimate and genuine traders in the borough, but unfortunately there are also some who like to take advantage of residents with scams, fake merchandise, and illegitimate claims.
The methods used by conmen, either over the phone, via the post and email, or face-to-face, can be extremely persuasive, and hard to say no to. So, the Safer Solihull Partnership is urging Solihull residents to stop, think, and then think again, when considering any offer.
Many people believe they won’t be fooled, but there is a scam out there for everyone. Every year 3.2 million adults across the UK fall victim to a scam involving deceptive unsolicited mailings, phone calls, or emails.
Trading Standards officers work closely with the Police to inform the public about scams, as well as track down and prosecute criminals. But this is an ongoing battle, and they rely on the public to inform them of new scams which are being used.
Over February Solihull Council, in partnership with the Office of Fair Trading, is taking part in Scamnesty. Residents are being urged to drop off potential scam mail into one of the 18 Scamnesty collection boxes located in the borough’s Connect centres, libraries, and Citizen Advice Bureaux. The information collected will be used to find out the current popular scams.
The doorstep selling of home improvements is another common method used to part people from their money. All too often the work, if carried out at all, is unnecessary, overpriced, or of poor quality. In addition traders details on documentation are likely to be false so the chances of a consumer being able to follow up on their contractual rights are limited.
Residents are advised to stay on their guard with doorstep sellers, and never part with their money, or sign an agreement, unless they are sure they know what they are getting.
Cabinet member for safer communities, Councillor Holl-Allen, said: “It is often hard to identify a scam, or rogue trader, as many mailings, emails, phone calls, or doorstep traders, can seem very genuine.
The best piece of advice is, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
For more advice or information call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.consumerdirect.govuk