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Rogue trader warning goes out for Cornwall

Rogue trader warning goes out for Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:11am 11th April 2019.

People in Cornwall are being urged to watch out for rogue traders.

A warning has gone out after a mobile gang has been targeting residents in Torpoint.

They have reportedly been trying to sell mattresses from their white Toyota van.

Cornwall Council's Trading Standards team is warning members of the public NOT to deal with them.

The warning follows the first reports of the gang approaching people on Wednesday afternoon.

"This isn't the first time a mobile gang has visited Cornwall selling mattresses from the back of a van.

"Typically the gang will claim that they have excess stocks to sell, left over from new-build properties or some similar excuse.

"In reality the mattresses are likely to be very poor quality and may even be second-hand. They certainly will not be a bargain!

"And, of course, the gang will be here today and gone tomorrow so any guarantee will be worthless and there will be no chance of getting a refund if problems are found."

Leanne McLean, Trading Standards Officer


The advice from Cornwall Council Trading Standards is clear: NEVER deal with anyone offering goods from the back of a van or from anyone who knocks at the door without an appointment.

If anyone sees the gang they are advised to have nothing to do with them.

But if you're not sure about rogue traders, here are some top tips:

  • Check the identity of the caller by telephoning the company they claim to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
  • Genuine callers won't mind making an appointment for a date when you can have someone with you. This gives you time to check their identity too.
  • Never use companies who make unsolicited calls, who don't provide contracts, or who offer to do work for cash.
  • Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.
  • Many service providers provide password schemes and it can be helpful to sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they are genuine.
  • Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
  • Where possible, have a safety chain fitted and always attach the chain before opening the door to strangers.
  • Remember it's your doorstep, your decision.
  • Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Schemes (www.oft.gov.uk) or the government Trust Mark scheme (www.trustmark.org.uk).

The key message is: 'Not sure? Don't open the door'. If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door dial 999

Source: Avon and Somerset Police

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