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Beware of cold-callers with benefits scam

Thursday, 15th April 2010.

Residents in Suffolk are being advised to be vigilant when answering their doors.

Complaints have been received by Suffolk County Council's trading standards department about people knocking on doors and offering services which residents could receive for free if they went elsewhere.

Tristram Singh, fair trading officer for Suffolk County Council, said; “We have been notified that someone has been approached at their door by a person saying they were from the Benefits Agency.

"They were then charged £3,000 for the service they got which could have been received for free by going to the right people.

“It’s very worrying that vulnerable people are being targeted by rogue conmen and parting with such large amounts of money.”

If you’re approached at your door, Suffolk trading standards offer the following advice:

Ask for ID – all genuine callers will carry identification and they won’t mind waiting while you call the company to check who they are;

Do not sign anything – if you’re offered a service do not sign a contract there and then. Go away and obtain quotes from others offering the same service. A genuine caller will be happy to leave a quote and come back;

Feel empowered to ask them to leave your property – it’s your house so feel free to say no if you don’t want them there. If they persist and you feel intimidated, call the local police.

If you feel your area is being targeted by rogue traders, Suffolk trading standards are currently setting up No Cold Calling Zones around the county. To apply and see if your area is eligible for a zone, contact Suffolk trading standards on 01473 264859.

Haverhill Online News

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