Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is reminding residents to be alert to cold callers at the door.

Recent reports involve a cold caller purporting to be an officer from the Office of Fair Trading investigating a company that previously did work at the resident’s address.

The resident may be told they are due some compensation, and may be asked for a contribution towards court costs.

It is thought that the cold callers are using information gained from rogue traders who are sharing information of past victims.

Claims that the officer works for the Office of Fair Trading are untrue, and no contribution towards court costs will ever be requested by regulatory bodies.

Residents are advised not to rely on identity cards as a way of telling if the caller is genuine.  If the caller is claiming to be from a local authority, government body or the Police, it is always best to make independent enquiries with that authority using a telephone number sourced by the resident.  Information provided by the caller, such as telephone numbers, should not be relied upon when making checks.

Although consumers have statutory rights when buying at the door, including a 14 day right to cancel contracts for goods and services worth over £42, the right to a refund, replacement or repair if the goods are faulty, falsely described or not fit for purpose.  However, these rights can only be exercised if the seller is a trader, and if they give full and correct contact information. Trading Standards recommend residents do not buy goods at the door.

For further information on buying at the door,  click on the following link to Hampshire Trading Standards website Your rights when buying at the door.

Members of Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or require any advice on doorstep crime they can contact our Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday – Friday / 0900hrs to 1700hrs). Specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.

If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.