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Too good to be true?

Posted on : 19 Apr 2024

Too good to be true?

Trading Standards Wales (TSW) reports that scams and rogue traders continue to cause misery for consumers across the country.

Consumers are often taken in by something that is “too good to be true”, bombarded with what seems to be a bargain, or a fantastic offer, in a shop, on the internet, on TV, radio or to their door. 

A desirable car that has seemingly only done 10,000 miles, an email promising thousands in prize money if you just send a few hundred by bank transfer to a foreign account, that luxury holiday with the hidden charges, or that cold caller offering to fix those few loose tiles on your roof that he has just happened to notice as he was passing.

If it looks too good to be true, then often it is.  Every day, the member authorities of Trading Standards Wales deal with complaints where a consumer has been ripped off on what they thought was a bargain, or the promise of an easy lottery win.

During 2022/23, Trading Standards across Wales: 

  • Provided support to almost 1300 scam victims 
  • Saved consumer approximately £2.75 million by disrupting mass marketing fraud mailings and outgoing payments
  • Prevented almost £10m of detriment to consumers
  • Following criminal investigations, ensured £64,500 compensation was awarded by the courts to victims of crime
  • Prevented over £596,000 from being handed over to criminals.

Consumers can remain protected by ‘Taking 5’ to carry out for some quick checks. Ignore that prize-giving email, and if you buy goods or services over your doorstep, make sure you are provided with cancellation rights.

59% of Trading Standards Wales Authorities support the Buy With Confidence trader approval scheme, whereby responsible and legitimate traders are vetted by Trading Standards and audited annually. This is open to any type of trade and seeks to offer assurance to consumers.

If you have a complaint, please contact the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133  or 0808 223 1144 (Cymraeg). Trading Standards Departments receive complaint notifications from Citizens’ Advice, which help us target rogue businesses.

For further information, please go to our Trading Standards Wales Week page and our YouTube channel

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