Rogue traders beware: City of York Council is after you

24 Apr 2013 @ 4.56 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council is putting its weight behind a national campaign to tackle rogue traders and help protect local consumers from being ripped off with new cold calling zones being researched across the city this week.

Operation Rogue Trader week runs from Monday 22 to Friday 26 April during whichthe council’s Trading Standards teamas part of its ongoing work is visiting traders advising on customers’ cancellation rights and legislation on branding and quality. It’s also been visiting consumers to advise them on their rights when entering into contracts at home following visits by door-to-door sellers.

The council’s team of consumer rights experts has also begun investigations into breaches of consumer protection legislation which involves a trader falsely claiming to be a member of a trader’s association, and has conducted a formal interview of one trader alleged to be carrying out unnecessary roof repairs.

Yorkshire and the Humber Trading Standards Group – known as the Scambusters team based at City of York Council – has started legal proceedings against five individuals for a total 13 offences involved in a council tax rebate scam.

This involves cold calling local York residents offering to challenge their council tax banding, lower their payments and recoup past overpayments. Following a £175 payment upfront, submissions are rarely made to the council tax office and when they are, their quality is so poor they are frequently rejected. The charges being levied include conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, blackmail and acting as a director when banned from holding the post.

Trading Standards team members will also be attending the council’s Crime Summit and will be offering residents advice from a stall at the day-long city centre Community Safety Market on Thursday 25 April.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Crime and Community Safety said: “We’re after rogue traders! Whether they’re already operating or planning to operate in York, working in co-operation with residents, the crack team of Scambusters and the police, we are on their case. Scams, fraud and unscrupulous business practices simply aren’t tolerated in York.”

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