Category: Trading Standards

Bedford Borough Council: Beware of coronavirus scams

Bedford Borough Council’s Trading Standards team is warning people to remain vigilant. This follows reports of coronavirus-related scams as criminals try to exploit people’s fears.

In Bedfordshire, the sale of counterfeit goods such as hand sanitiser and fake coronavirus tests has been reported. Currently, there are no legitimate coronavirus tests for sale.

Look out for people selling other counterfeit goods such as sanitisers, face masks, or coronavirus swabbing kits online or door-to-door.

Trading Standards says that these products are likely to be ineffective and could be unsafe to use.

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DVLA warns motorists to be aware of scams

DVLA has revealed a 20% rise in scams reported to their contact centre, with 1,538 reports about suspected vehicle tax scams during the last 3 months of 2019.

It comes as new figures show a 20% increase in scams reported to DVLA. With 1,538 reports made to agency in the last three months of 2019.

The reports of suspected web, email, text or social media scams were up from 1,275 in the same period in 2018.

DVLA has released the images of recent scams reported to help motorists be aware of what to look out for and issue a clear warning that if something offered online or by text message appears too good to be true, then it almost certainly is.

Scammers are targeting unsuspecting customers with links to services that don’t exist and messages of tax refunds, all of which are fake.

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Take charge of battery safety when using e-cigarettes

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has said that there have been rare incidents of E-cigarettes or “vapes” exploding and seriously injuring people.

It has been suggested that battery-related issues may lead to vape explosions. The OPSS has released a list of safety tips may help you avoid a vape battery explosion or fire.

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Suspicious telephone calls offering crime prevention equipment

Trading Standards has received reports from concerned local residents who have recently received an unsolicited telephone call from a ‘home security’ business.

During the call, the caller attempts to arrange an appointment for a someone to visit the resident’s home to discuss and offer crime prevention equipment.

The caller may make claims such as “the police no longer respond to home security alarms” or that they are “working closely with local Police to provide residents a special offer”.

Trading Standards believes these callers maybe targeting elderly and vulnerable residents. Although it urges anyone who receives this type of unsolicited telephone call to act with caution.

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Bedford Borough Council advice for buying a new furry friend

A new furry friend can make a great addition to the family. But Bedford Borough Council is warning residents to be cautious and carry out checks after reports of illegal puppy trading.

Bad dealers and breeders are selling puppies that are too young, imported from other countries, haven’t had the appropriate vaccinations, and without the right paperwork.

This can result in the puppies being quarantined and not allowed to go to their new owners.

The Dogs Trust also has concerns about the welfare of the puppies caught in the illegal dog trade. This can leave unsuspecting families picking up the pieces when they just wanted to give a puppy a home.

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Trading Standards warning over smuggled pup

Buying a cute puppy overseas may be cheaper and a cute puppy may be a good addition to a family, but Central Bedfordshire Council Trading Standards is warning well-meaning residents to be aware of the requirements for bringing a pet into the UK.

Earlier this week, officers from the trading standards team stepped in after receiving a report that a Houghton Conquest resident had recently entered the UK from Ireland with a new puppy without following the law.

As a result, the puppy was required to be taken into quarantine for monitoring and will now be microchipped and receive a rabies vaccination, all at the owner’s expense.

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Summer fun – don’t fake it!

It’s finally summertime; the days are longer, the mornings are brighter, and drinks are colder. Many of us will be buying new items to take us through the summer months, such as sunglasses, new makeup, sun tan lotions, and even a new phone charger to take on holidays.

But how do you know you’re getting the real deal? Buying a bargain is always tempting, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Fake goods may seem a cheap alternative, but many are harmful and could cause injury, sometimes severe.

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