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Trading Standards are aware of a recent increase of scammers making cold calls to Hertfordshire residents

The callers are claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or similar sounding companies and attempting to extract money for registration or for call blocking devices. A UK company director was recently imprisoned for ripping off consumers in a similar callblocker scam: http://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/prison-sentence-for-man-behind-call-blocker-scam/

This is a sad and cynical scam that targets people who are actively trying to protect themselves or vulnerable relatives. Please remember that the TPS never cold calls and its service is always free. To register with TPS call 0345 070 0707 or www.tpsonline.org.uk .

Another current scam which is conning residents over the phone, is the sale of extended warranties for electronic devices such as televisions and washing machines. Recent complaints tell of salesmen who say that because the resident hasn’t made a claim in the last 12 months, that the price will be reduced from the usual price of £75 to £40. The salesman says that he already knows the first 4 digits of their card but needs confirmation for the rest of the number. Payment of £75 is then taken out and a warranty on goods that are too old or different from the actual product owned and hence useless, is provided.

Trading Standards advise that residents never buy anything as a result of a cold call. Don’t be rushed into a decision, take advice from family and friends first and shop around for the best deal. Please look out for elderly and vulnerable family and friends who may be targeted by these scammers. Contact the companies involved for a refund and contact the bank to report the issue, changing bank cards as required. For further advice and to report complaints to trading standards, please contact Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 and/ or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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