North-east residents have been warned to be vigilant after an increase in doorstep crimes and scams – including someone trying to sell potted topiary plants.
It comes as a large quantity of fake designer face coverings was seized in the north-east.
In the past few weeks, officers have been contacted about doorstep callers offering potted topiary plants for sale in Peterhead, someone who was approached by a person offering to purchase a caravan parked at a resident’s home and from someone who received a telephone call pretending to be from HMRC.
The bogus tax advisor told the resident unpaid taxes of £30k were due, adding that the debt would be reduced to £200 if paid using gift vouchers.
Other reports have include a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the recipient’s internet provider advising the service would be withdrawn due to “illegal behaviour” and asked to call a number which would have resulted in “excessive calls charges, payment or a request for personal/banking details”.
And a scam email purporting to be from British Gas demanding payment for a bill for which the penalty for non-payment was disproportionally high was sent.
And yesterday knock-off Fendi, Versace and Burberry face coverings were confiscated by Aberdeenshire Trading Standards following an operation.
They issued a warning to customers about purchasing fake products while recognising that people may be looking for stylish accessories.
In a statement posted on social media they said: “Fake items are often made and stored in unhygienic conditions using low quality materials and processes, and the manufacture and supply of such goods has been linked to serious and organised crime.
“Aberdeenshire Trading Standards would urge consumers to think twice and avoid purchasing fake goods, and would advise all local business make suitable supplier checks before stocking such items.”
Trading Standards has encouraged people to look for signs that something may be a scam, including an unusual or foreign senders address, impersonal greeting, poor spelling or grammar, and the demand for bank and personal details.
People dealing with doorstep callers are asked to try and remember key details about the trader such as business names, addresses, names, age, accents, descriptions, vehicle type, registrations and signage.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “We urge residents to be cautious when engaging with doorstep or telephone callers. Do not share personal information with these individuals unless you have verified their authenticity. If you are concerned about any suspicious activity, you can report these concerns to Trading Standards or Police Scotland.”
For urgent Trading Standards matters, contact Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards on 01467 537222.
Any concerns regarding fake products should be reported to Aberdeenshire Trading Standards on 01346 415888 or email@example.com