10 August 2010

Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service is warning residents about a possible telephone scam.

Trading standards has been contacted by several people who have received unsolicited telephone calls from companies offering to install a security system.

Initial contact is made by telephone cold-calling residents to arrange an appointment; however although the security alarms may be free or available at a nominal cost, the ongoing maintenance costs are high and there is a cancellation fee.

Trading standards advise that people do not purchase security systems from companies that are cold-calling either on the telephone or at the door.

Instead, consumers who are considering investing in an alarm system should obtain quotes from at least three security companies who are subject to independent inspection by a recognised body, either NSI (The National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board).

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “Anyone who has been cold-called by a company that is arranging a visit to promote the sale of security alarms should contact trading standards by telephoning Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

“And anyone who is concerned about a caller at their door or suspect that distraction burglars or rogue doorstep traders are operating in their community, can call the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) number 0345 23 07 702."

Additional information:

People looking for a trusted trader can use the county council’s Buy With Confidence scheme recently launched by trading standards.

It brings together a list of gardeners, plumbers, builders, electricians and other types of local businesses, each of which has been individually checked by trading standards for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws.

Details of traders who have been accepted on to the scheme are available both on the county council’s website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders or by telephoning the county council on 01064 236236 or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.