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Warning: Suspicious unsolicited telephone calls claiming to be from a police officer

Monday, 31 March 2014

Hampshire County Council's Trading Standards officers are warning residents to be alert to suspicious unsolicited telephone calls claiming to be from a police officer.

In recent reported cases the caller asks questions about home security and personal circumstances. Attempts are made to book appointments for home visits to discuss police burglar alarms or loft insulation. When the resident becomes suspicious and makes enquiries about the caller, they hang up.

Trading Standards would advise consumers never to give out personal details over the phone, and not to entertain visits from callers who make unsolicited telephone calls.

The Police do not sell burglar alarms or loft insulation, and will not operate in this way. The advice is not to get into conversation with this type of caller which includes similar telephone calls from 'Banks', and to report the matter to Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06, or to Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101.

Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call or via a leaflet drop. Consumers should obtain at least three written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the 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 calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the Buy with Confidence website.

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a seven day cooling off period. Work should not commence until this period has ended, unless written agreement is obtained from that consumer beforehand.

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday - Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs) where 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.

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