Keep your wits about you! Don't fall victim to crime, unscrupulous sales people or be taken in by scam emails. Heed Police and Trading Standards warnings below, and know your rights as a consumer.
The telephone number to contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service is 03454 040506. This is a National rate telephone number and so it means that it is cheaper for everyone to be able obtain advice and information.
Suffolk County Council & Trading Standards produce weekly newsletters which are listed below and include details of scams, warnings, advice and product recalls.
Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force 1st October 2015. It seeks to make the law clearer and easier to understand for both consumers and businesses alike. As well as covering the purchase of goods and services, there are now provisions covering Digital Content. Read the Key Points of the Act.
Scams & Doorstep Problems
Did you know only approx 5% of scams are reported. If you spot a scam, report it via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
See the Money Saving Expert's 30 Ways to Stop Scams.
How to avoid unwanted calls, mail & scams
Opt out of junk (unaddressed) mail delivered by Royal Mail here
Register with the Mailing Preference Service to cut down on unwanted letters
If you think you or a family member is receiving scam mail, you can report it to Royal Mail
Register with the TPS to cut down on unwanted phone calls
Report online scams and viruses here
How to report a fraud if English is not your first language
Scam Awareness in British Sign Language
How to get your money back after a scam
Beware Of Bogus Callers
- Do not let strangers into your house risking a distraction burglary. If you have a door chain or bar please use this when answering the door, always check identification - genuine callers will be happy to wait while you check with the relevant utility company using the number in the phone book - and if you are in any doubt please alert police immediately using 999.
- Be cautious when dealing with casual doorstep callers - don't be duped into paying for work that may not have been done, eg. roof repairs.
- Don't pay more than you should for Mobility Aids - Trading Standards are concerned people may be pressurised by doorstep sales people into paying more than they should for Mobility Aids.
- Be vigilant when companies offer burglar alarms for as little as a pound - they won't tell you of running costs which may cost thousands when tied into a contract.
- A doorstep trader is unlikely to offer you the best deal when selling antiques, jewellery and gold for cash. Don't feel pressured into selling anything you don't want to.
- Police will mark your valuable items at no cost. Don't respond to companies offering to mark your items.
If you do not wish to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls, you can register for free via the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707 or online.
Action Fraud Alert are warning about fraudsters claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’. Read their alert message.
Credit Card Advice
Never give your credit card PIN to anyone over the phone - avoid getting caught out:
- Neither the bank or police would ring and collect your bank card from your home if it's nearing expiry date.
- Neither would ask a consumer to authorise anything by entering their PIN number into a handset
- Never share your PIN number with anyone.
Anybody with any concerns should phone Citizens Advice Consumer Service (Trading Standards) for advice on 03454 040506. If you are concerned about an incident please contact Suffolk Police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.
Find a reliable trades person - use Checkatrade.com
LOFT INSULATION - GET IT FROM THE RIGHT SUPPLIER. Suffolk Trading Standards are advising caution when dealing with cold calls from sales people suggesting that loft insulation is required and that a grant can be obtained. See the advice Trading Standards give.
THINKING ABOUT BUYING A NEW MOBILE PHONE? Read the advice given by Suffolk Trading Standards to avoid ending up with one you don't want because of hardware problems or poor network coverage, and being tied into a lengthy contract.
BEWARE CONNING INVOICES & DEBT DEMANDS - Don't pay if you receive an invoice but only requested a quote, or respond to a debt collector when the debt's not yours.
YOUR BANK IS UNLIKELY TO PHONE TO OFFER TO REFUND BANK CHARGES, they'll write to you, so hang up if someone calls - it's a scam.
Remember to lock up your vehicles and remove valuables - don't encourage theft. Don't be taken in by distraction thefts in car parks - keep your eye on your belongings, especially your handbag or wallet and don't let your credit or cash cards be stolen.