Residents across Bath and North East Somerset are being warned that rogue traders and scammers are changing their behaviour to take advantage of people during the COVID-19 crisis.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s trading standards team is advising people to be on their guard after fake sanitisers, face masks and swabbing kits have been attempted to be sold door-to-door and by telephone cold calling.
The team is reminding residents to be as careful as they normally would when making purchases and not to rush into them because the seller plays on their health concerns.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “A known risk of being scammed is health concerns.
“People can sometimes respond impulsively to possible health protections and cures in a genuine attempt to control a difficult and unpredictable situation. It is human nature and totally understandable.
“But conmen know this and they are always quick to change their behaviour to gain an advantage. The rogue trader is looking for a new scheme to make money.
“Please follow government advice and don’t purchase items from your doorstep, don’t buy medicines online from unknown sources and don’t respond to unexpected telephone calls asking you to part with money.”
Trading Standards advice is:
- Follow government advice
- Be as careful as you would normally be. Don’t be side-tracked or rush into decisions
- Don’t purchase items from your doorstep or respond to surveys
- Don’t draw attention to the passer-by that you are self-isolating (signs in windows)
- Don’t give cash to strangers to do shopping etc
- Don’t buy cures and medicines online
- Don’t buy soaps and sanitisers from unknown sources
- Buy all products from known sources
- Trust and seek help from family and friends
- Stay calm.
For more advice contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service by following this link or telephone 0808 223 1133.