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Consumer Cons

Don't be in any hurry to part with your cash. Use your head before using your wallet. Every year we receive many complaints from customers who have been conned with schemes like these:-
 
Workmen at the Door
 
They may tell you that something is wrong with your house - a loose roof tile for example. They may say that they have tarmac over from a "job" and offer to do your drive cheaply. Don't be fooled - you will probably get a shoddy job at exorbitant prices - and who is to say that the work really needed doing in the first place?
 
SHOP AROUND AND GET SEVERAL QUOTES BEFORE EMPLOYING WORKMEN
 
Pressure Sales
 
"Un-repeatable offer/You have won a prize/Your house can be a show home/Free safety check"
 
All of these have been used in doorstep or telephone pressure sales. If you're not careful you could end up buying something you don't really need at an inflated price. Sales techniques can be very devious - don't fall for them.
 
SAY NO TO UNSOLICITED CALLERS AND DON'T GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO KEEP YOU TALKING
 
DON'T PART WITH MONEY UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO LOSE IT!
 
Charities/Fund-raising
 
Sadly, not all charity collectors are bona-fide. Check their credentials and make sure that a significant amount of their collection goes to a proper charity.
 
IF IN DOUBT - SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTION DIRECT TO A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE
 
Doorstep Antique Buyers
 
Never let any unsolicited caller into your home. They may be planning to con you by undervaluing your antiques or they may be planning a burglary!
 
USE ESTABLISHED DEALERS AND OBTAIN MORE THAN ONE VALUATION
 
Low Price Jobs
 
A job "on the side" with VAT "ignored" may sound attractive but there will be little comeback if things go wrong.
 
IS IT WORTH THE RISK?
 
With these and other schemes you can avoid losing money by following these simple rules:-
  • Never make spur-of-the-moment decisions  
  • Never agree to something just to get rid of the salesman  
  • Don't be afraid to say "no" - don't try to be polite as this will enable them to keep you talking  
  • Never give an unsolicited caller your credit card number  
  • Make sure you know the genuine name, address and telephone number of anyone with whom you deal  
  • Shop around before making any purchase or sale decision - obtain several prices or quotes  
  • Don't believe what you are told by unsolicited callers - check it out yourself if you are in any way interested  
  • If you have been conned, don't be ashamed - it happens to many people each year - but do tell us. Maybe then we can help to stop it happening to others.
Also, be public spirited. Help your neighbours to fend off unwanted approaches - particularly if they are elderly or otherwise vulnerable
Related Information

 

Postal Address Citizens Advice Bureau,
Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, Dorset
BH2 6DX
Telephone 03454 040506
Email Citizens Advice Bureau
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