Birmingham crack down on bogus ‘Halal’ meat

chicken

Birmingham City Council’s Trading Standards service joined West Midlands police officers to visit six premises, including butchers and meat wholesalers, across the city in a series of raids. They seized hundreds of chickens during an investigation into firms selling meat wrongly-labelled as halal to Muslims.

It is a criminal offence to mis-describe items. If you feel that any business in Solihull is misleading its customers please contact us on 03454 04 05 06

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Would YOU be able to spot fake alcohol?

Counterfeit-vodka-007

As the counterfeiters get smarter it can be increasingly difficult to visually differentiate between fake and genuine products. We have had numerous incidents of fake alcohol being sold in Solihull and sometimes even we struggle to identify the rogue bottles.

However appealing the cost of dodgy booze may be, the consequences of actually drinking it can be severe. The fakers are only concerned about making maximum profit and are certainly not losing any sleep over your health. Excessive quantities of ethanol in fake alcohol can lead to blindness.

So, what are the signs to look out for in spotting fake alcohol?

  1. The first tell tale sign is ALWAYS the price. If a deal seems too good to be true it most probably is!
  2. There are often mistakes in the labelling, such as no government information or correct health warnings.
  3. Small spelling mistakes often crop up – the counterfeiters aren’t the best wordsmiths in the world! For example, on a product seized in Solihull the ‘i’ was missing from Ayrshire, Scotland.
  4. Bottles of the same product may look different with small differences in colour, design and tops.
  5. The level of liquid in the bottles may vary as many fake productions are done by hand whereas genuine manufacturers use machines to produce a consistent, exact level.
  6. The label on the bottle may not be completely straight or its position may be subtly varied on different bottles.
  7. The fake product often smells different from genuine alcohol. Fake vodka, for example, can smell of nail varnish.
  8. Many people can immediately tell that the taste of their favourite tipple just isn’t quite right.

If you are suspicious that fake alcohol is being sold in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06

Solihull keeps on helping vulnerable residents who have fallen victims to scams

suckers

(picture credit – http://www.belfastlive.co.uk)

Once you reply to or pay money out to scam mails, e-mails and phonecalls your details are more than likely to be retained and circulated on so-called ‘suckers lists.’ However small the initial sum of money you may pay you will soon be inundated with more and more scams looking to get at your money. These lists of potential victims are sold within the criminal fraternity and people can become prisoners in their own homes as they are bombarded with calls or mail.

It is very easy to dismiss victims of scams as somehow gullible or naive. However, Solihull Trading Standards are seeing increasing numbers of very vulnerable people becoming repeat victims to these despicable criminals. It is becoming one of the major threats to the elder generation.

We are still visiting Solihull residents who have been identified on intercepted national lists and we offer our help and advice to break the often insidious circle these people can fall into.

If you are concerned either about yourself or another please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

Sniffer dogs uncover more than £10,000 worth of illegal tobacco in Birmingham

snifferbrum

Birmingham Trading Standards and their little helpers (provided by BWY Tobacco Detection Dog Services) have sniffed out over 27,000 illegal cigarettes and 120 packets of hand rolling tobacco during raids on Birmingham shops and off licenses. The goods (valued at £11,800) were hidden under fridges, in roof spaces and in a cellar.

See the article here:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/tobacco-sniffer-dogs-uncover-10000-8170846

Watch out – it may not be too long until we are out and about in Solihull again on the look out for illicit tobacco…….

Watch out for PayPal scams!!!

paypal

(Picture credit – www.digitaltrends.com)

The company PayPal offers a legitimate, secure payment method for many internet purchase forums.

However, Solihull MBC Trading Standards are seeing an increasing number of residents being duped into paying for large, expensive items via fake or adulterated PayPal links. They lose all their cash to these scammers and never see anything arrive.

Have a look at the link below to know what kind of scam indicators to keep an eye out for:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/how-to-avoid-paypal-scam/

Reports of bogus council workers operating in Solihull

logosol

We have received reports of men knocking on people’s doors claiming to be operating on behalf of Solihull Council. One report regarded a claim that they were acting on behalf of the Council in relation to an accident/PPI report from the NHS.

If you have ANY doubt about the identity of a caller please telephone the Contact Centre to confirm on 0121 704 6000.

Solihull pensioner cruelly cheated out of £20,000

warningscam

An elderly Solihull woman has given rogue traders £20,000 for a new roof for her property – all the ‘traders’ did was knock down a few bricks and then left not to be seen again.

The lady is very confused about the details of what has happened and is even unable to remember whether she called them or they knocked on her door. Her bank book reveals that she went to her local branch 8 times within a week and withdrew £2,500 each time. She does not know the name of any of the men she spoke to, their trading name or any details about them. We have been out to see the lady and have reassured her that we are here to help if the men reappear.

Elderly, vulnerable residents are being constantly targeted by conmen who have no moral scruples whatsoever to take as much money as they can from their targets. If you know of any information regarding rogue traders you think are operating in Solihull then please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

Conman who cheated £170,000 out of 1,500 victims jailed

PPI-Claims

A fraudster has been jailed for claiming he could secure his victims a PPI refund from their bank then running away with £170,000 in ‘administration fees’ they had paid.

The 31-year-old from Taff’s Well in South Wales has now been jailed for four years at Newport Crown Court after admitting running a claims management business without authorisation and making fraudulent claims to secure customers.

See the full article here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3244565/PPI-conman-swindled-170-000-1-500-victims-jailed.html

How well do YOU know your rights?

consumer

A very important piece of legislation comes fully into force from 01st October 2015.

The Consumer Rights Act outlines the rights and responsibilities of businesses and consumers when entering into a contract for the sale of goods or supply of services. Whether it is buying a newspaper from a shop or eating out in a restaurant you have entered into a legally binding contract and you can expect certain standards from your purchase.

How well do you know the changes? For example, how long do you have the automatic right to claim a full refund for a faulty or mis-described item after you have bought it? Before this legislation came in you had only a realistic window of several days to reject the goods and get all your money back but the law now gives you a set time period of 30 days.

It is vitally important that you know what you are entitled to expect when entering into a contract. Have a look at the below site for more detailed guidance and know your rights!!!

http://www.businesscompanion.info/

£250? ‘It’s only a pair of trainers. It’s not much is it?’

rogues1

These were the words of Michael Anthony Gales after a policeman found cash on him during a search. Gales and his partner in crime Lee Davidson have each been sentenced to a year in prison for a series of callous rogue trading offences they carried out in the north east of England last year.

The pair targeted elderly victims, charging for work that was unnecessary and, in several instances, non-existent. They charged an 81 year old man suffering from dementia £250 for guttering work where all they did was climb up a ladder and sit on the roof. Another victim was driven to the bank to withdraw money but when he realised that he did not have his cash card was left to make his own way home.

See the full article here:

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/despicable-rogue-traders-who-targeted-9974759

If you have any information about rogue traders operating in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06.