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Illegal street traders

Most of the complaints we get are about cold calling builders and people selling counterfeit goods door-to-door.

Householders are often so concerned with 'problems' drawn to their attention by cold calling builders, that they pay inflated prices on the spot for overpriced and shoddy repairs. Distraction burglary is where a bogus official gains entry to a house and with or without an accomplice robs the householder whilst they are distracted.

Don't be caught out by these cons. If someone calls at your door saying you need repair work to your home, ask what needs to be done and get quotes from other repairers in your area for the repair. You may save money and get a better job. Remember to always check our Trading Standards approved Buy With Confidence traders before undertaking any home improvements or repairs.

If someone calls at your door claiming to be from the council or a utility company don't let them in without first checking their identification. If you are still not sure, call the organisation they claim to be representing and ask them to check for you.

Counterfeit goods are copies of items which are sold at a fraction of the cost of the original, commonly designer clothes, watches and perfume, cosmetics, CDs and DVDs, computer software and vehicle parts. Counterfeits are often untested or even dangerous, from cosmetics that can cause mild or violent allergic reactions to car parts that quickly fail and cause accidents. There is increasing evidence to suggest that counterfeit goods fund organised crime including drug dealing, people trafficking and even terrorism.

For more information contact Consumer advice.