Kingston Council is warning local residents to watch out for a person who is pretending to be a Trading Standards Officer (TSO).
Councillor Terry Paton, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Resident Services, said:
“We have had two incidents reported to us recently where a bogus Trading Standards Officer (TSO) asked residents in New Malden and Surbiton for money to help support a so-called investigation into a rogue trader.
“The fraudster can be quite persistent and persuasive in trying to convince people to part with large sums of money over the course of a few days by phone and in person, telling the victim not to speak to anyone because of the so-called ‘investigation’.
“All Trading Standards Officers make an appointment when visiting people and do not cold call. Additionally, they will always show their ID, which can be checked by contacting the Council. Under no circumstances would a TSO ever ask a victim or a witness to a crime for money.”
If you suspect a bogus TSO or a suspicious cold caller, please report the matter to Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. The Police can be contacted on 101 (or 999 in the case of an emergency). If you would like general advice on how to spot scams, please visit the Action Fraud website at www.actionfraud.police.uk