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New regulations will crack down on rogue traders

THE writing is on the wall for rogue traders who fleece the old and the vulnerable by selling sub-standard goods and services.
New regulations have just come into force which gives victims the right of redress if they are harassed into buying home improvements or similar services by door-to-door salesmen.
Under these new regulations, announced by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson, consumers who have fallen victim to unscrupulous traders will have greater powers to challenge them and get their money back under these new rights.
People who are tricked or misled into buying services or goods they don't want or need will have up to 90 days to take legal action.
The new regulations will help those who are harassed into home improvements by door-to-door salesmen, for example, or are pressured into purchasing a mobile phone by false promises on download speeds and network coverage.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable, with National Audit Office figures showing that those over the age of 55 lose an average of nearly £1,100 when they are victims of rogue traders.
The crime reporting agency Action Fraud estimates that consumers lose out by least £6.6bn every year due to unfair trading.
Jo Swinson said: “The vast majority of businesses treat consumers fairly and provide a great service. However, a few bad apples have damaged the reputation of good business, broken the law and treated customers as a cash cow.
“This is why we are providing consumers with new powers to challenge rogue businesses and giving people the confidence to take action.”

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Going on holiday - beware of the scam travel sites

THE Civil Aviation Authority has warned consumers to beware of scam holiday websites displaying a false Atol Protected logo.
The CAA is urging holiday bookers to check, then double check bookings are Atol protected.
The authority said: “A steady stream of duped holidaymakers have been in touch with the CAA and dozens more have contacted trading standards teams and police forces across the country.”
The CAA reported that the phoney travel sites look UK-based "but are typically operated from abroad".
CAA consumer protection group director Richard Jackson said: “We are aware of a number of bogus websites advertising unusually cheap deals, operated from abroad and falsely claiming to have Atol protection.
“It is important customers look beyond the price and check and double check the travel company has Atol protection. Once you have confirmed this and paid, make sure you get an Atol Certificate.”
The CAA quoted figures recently released by the Association of Chief Police Officers suggesting UK consumers were defrauded of £3.7 million in online ticket scams, including flight tickets, last year.

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Watch Out magazine

THE third issue of our Watch Out magazine is online now and this contains information on all types of frauds and scams as well as Neighbourhood Watch news, council news and crime news plus a spotlight on a charity or group in each issue.
Just click on the front cover opposite or above and this will take you to a flip-page version of the publication.

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