As more people struggle with rising energy prices, people may attempt to exploit the cost of living crisis by providing misleading information about products and services and posting misleading adverts and reviews online.
Trading Standards and Police Scotland have launched a “Shut out Scammers” campaign, running 25 April - 22 May. The campaign aims to empower consumers with the knowledge to spot a scam, and to encourage the reporting of doorstep crime.
Here are top tips in avoiding rogue traders and protecting yourself and others:
- Stay safe when searching for traders online and avoid falling for fake online reviews. Be suspicious of reviews with vague, generic language. For more info visit: www.tsscot.co.uk/fake-online-reviews/.
- Not sure how to avoid rogue traders? You can find local traders in Scotland who have been approved by local council trading standards here: www.approvedtrader.scot/.
- Always do plenty of research, getting 3 individual quotes and checking companies on independent review sites. Never feel pressure from cold callers to sign expensive contracts that you do not need.
- Rogue traders often fake reviews with a five star rating and glossy leaflets. Always look out for spelling mistakes and similar reviews from the same person for different companies.
For more information on approved trader schemes visit: www.tsscot.co.uk/consumer-advice/approved-trader-schemes/.
In an emergency, report suspicious behaviour to Police Scotland on 101, or 999. Report scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 1646000 or at www.consumeradvice.scot./