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Scammed out of £100,000

Vicki Westwood

Vicki Westwood, gave away £100,000 in six years

Trading Standards warns over bogus TS callers

ESSEX residents are being advised to be on their guard after a resident in Chelmsford received a knock on the door from a man who claimed he was a Trading Standards Officer.
The bogus officer said he was collecting money that was required to deal with an earlier doorstep rogue trader case that took place some time ago. He was asking for £5,000 and threatened to get Essex Police to arrest the man if the money was not paid.
The resident has been the target of a doorstep rogue trader in the past claiming to be Trading Standards but did not realise at the time that the officer was a bogus caller.
Essex Police and Essex County Council Trading Standards are warning residents to be aware that it is likely that this bogus officer may have called on other homes in Chelmsford or visited other areas of the County.
If you are concerned about a Trading Standards Officer or an Essex Police Officer call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506, which handles Trading Standards calls or Essex Police on 101 or 999 if appropriate.

Gold for cash crooks on the prowl in Essex

Gold bracelet

REMEMBER the old adage – al that glitters is not gold
because criminals are operating in Essex using fake gold
jewellery to get money from residents.
Adrian Emberson, 69, from Colchester, was scammed out
of £200 after being flagged down near the Rettendon
Turnpike by a man whose car appeared to have broken
He told Mr Emberson his car had broken down and he
needed petrol and also needed money because he was
late catching the ferry from Liverpool to Ireland.
He begged Mr Emberson for help and got into the car
offering his gold ring in return for £50. Two men then followed in the man's car which he said only had "a little petrol left".
When they got to a Tesco cash machine the man kept badgering Mr Emberson for more money and handed over a gold bracelet in return for £200.l
"There was so much going on, I don't think I really had time to think it through," said Mr Emberson. "I ended up giving him £200, he gave me a gold bracelet too and took my details so that he could call and pay me back over the phone then we could arrange to meet and give his jewellery back."
But Mr Emerson's act of kindness was not to be repaid, as he became the latest victim in a series of roadside scams, with reports of 12 incidents in a week in Cambridgeshire between January 26 and February 3, and another in Essex, on the A414 near North Weald.

2000 sites selling fake goods closed down by police

TWO thousand websites selling fake luxury goods have been removed by police since the start of the year. They include Burberry, Longchamp, Abercrombie and Oakley, and jewellery designers Tiffany & Co and Thomas Sabo, just some of the brands offered for sale on the sites taken offline by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), part of City of London Police's economic crime directorate.
The goods people were receiving were "cheap and inferior counterfeits" of items including clothes, handbags, sunglasses, shoes and jewellery, detectives found. The raids were the result of a collaboration between brand-protection groups and internet registries.


Crooks trying to cash in on council tax scam again

FAMILIES in Essex are being urged not to fall for a fresh council tax scam which could put them at risk. The warning has come after a Suffolk resident received an email saying their council tax was overdue.
Entitled, "Your Council Tax Bill Overdue", the email claimed there was a council tax bill to be paid. It also demanded that personal information was provided within 72 hours or further action would be taken against them.
Trading Standards is offering advice about how to stay safe from such scams in the county.
A spokesman for the county council said: "This scam comes around every year."

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