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Trading Standards Warn People to be Weary of Crooks this Year

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1:23pm 8th January 2013

Complaints about used cars are expected to be the most common complaint to Dorset's Trading Standards in 2013.

Based on last year's data, Officers are drawing up plans to tackle the most frequent complaints they have from consumers.

Independent garages and cold callers were the worst offenders in 2012.

And as well as offering some useful tips to help avoid potential scams, officers are urging people to call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline in the event of any problems.

In 2013 there is a good chance:

o You will be telephoned from someone trying to let them pursue a claim you have for payment protection insurance (PPI) - hang up. They have no idea if you have a claim. If you have been mis-sold PPI, you should deal with it yourself by contacting your loan provider and avoid giving up a large slice of what you may be entitled to.

o You will be contacted via email by a 'scammer' trying to find out your bank details or wanting you to send money - just delete it and don't worry, as it is likely to be a random contact send to thousands of addresses.

o You will be 'cold called' at your home by someone selling something you don't need or at an excessive price - never deal with doorstep traders. Obtain an uninvited doorstep trader card and politely send them on their way. Go to www.dorsetforyou.com/386846 for details.

o You will need to get some work done to repair you home or maybe help a relative, or friend - find a trader you can trust. Check out the 'Buy with Confidence' trading standards approved traders scheme at www.dorsetforyou.com/399764 .

o You may be sufficiently dissatisfied with some goods or services you have paid for that you will want to complain to Trading Standards - you can do this by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e.htm.

Citizens Advice is now the first point of contact for all trading standards complaints.

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