Poundstretcher fined 350,000 for selling faulty batteries

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The company Poundstretcher has been fined a massive £350,000 for selling faulty batteries. The fine is one of the largest ever handed out to a high street retailer.

An investigation was launched by Swansea Trading Standards team after a tip off resulted in more than 85,000 batteries being seized. They were being sold in packets of 20 at a cost of just 99p.

The company even continued to sell the batteries online after being ordered to stop.

For more information about the case you can see an article below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-34902387

 

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Fake and dangerous Maleficent dolls seized in Warwickshire

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Over 60 fake and dangerous ‘Maleficent’ dolls have been seized by Warwickshire Trading Standards before they reached the shop shelves in time for Christmas.

Tests on the products revealed they contained Phthalates. Phthalates are used to soften plastics. Children chewing toys containing phthalates can lead to them to ingest the chemical, exposure to which has been linked to damage to the reproductive system and an increased risk of cancer and asthma.

See an article about the seizure here:

http://www.tradingstandards.uk/extra/news-item.cfm/newsid/1843

Bogus Solihull MBC ‘Council Tax rebate’ caller

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An elderly Solihull resident has been contacted by a woman claiming to be from Solihull MBC Council Tax team offering a ‘rebate’ on her council tax. The victim handed over all her bank details to the woman believing the call was genuine. She has subsequently cancelled all her cards and informed her bank of the scam.

Solihull Council are NOT contacting people in this manner and will not ask for your bank details. If you come across this scam or any other in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.

 

Hoverboards aplenty! Not so good though…

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Solihulll Trading Standards have had a LOT of experience with ‘hoverboards’ recently. Our close working relationship with Border Force at Birmingham Airport has meant that we have uncovered a number of dodgy imports over the last few weeks.

We have dealt with items that have absolutely NO safety instructions or markings. There is no way to verify whether the goods are safe or not and they have not been allowed into the country.

If you have information about unsafe goods being sold in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

 

Pet crematorium owner cheats and lies to customers

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A pet crematorium owner cheated customers by taking their cats and dogs and giving the ashes of random animals in return.

 

Allan McMasters, 52, was exposed when trading standards officers found several chest freezers piled with dead pets at Swan Pit Pet Crematorium in Staffordshire.

 

Cannock Magistrates’ Court heard that, in one of the freezers, they found a dragon-bearded iguana, a chicken, four cats and seven dogs – and even horse carcasses in his yard.Mr McMasters was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £6,435 in costs and compensation – including £500 to each of four known victims.

See a full article about the deception here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12007715/Pet-crematorium-owner-gave-grieving-families-the-ashes-of-random-animals.html

Rogue traders often CAUSE damage to get your money

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A recent report in St Helens, Merseyside, of traders intentionally damaging guttering on vulnerable residents’ houses to charge for unnecessary work is stymptomatic of the lengths to which rogue traders will go to.

Two men were seen scattering broken roof tiles outside the house of a vulnerable man in St Helens town centre on Thursday, November 19, according to St Helens Council and Merseyside police reports.

It was also reported that the pair tried to damage guttering to seek payment for work that was not needed, but the resident did not open the door and they fled when police arrived.

Solihull Trading Standards have often seen similar cases where rogues will damage property to ‘justify’ their work.

Beware of rogue traders. Please call us 03454 04 05 06 if you think any are operating in Solihull.

Trading Standards sniffers sniff out another haul of illegal tobacco

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Our little friends have nosed out another secret stash of illegal tobacco in Waterloo and Sefton.

More than 6,000 illegal cigarettes along with pouches of tobacco were seized after retail were visited by Sefton Council Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.

See an article about the seizure here:

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/cigarettes-worth-2000-seized-shops-10003869

Solihull Trading Standards might well be out soon with a few little helpers too so any illegal tobacco sellers better watch out!

Not so visible ‘Hi-Vis’ jackets…

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An investigation by Hertfordshire Trading Standards has led to retailers Poundworld being ordered to pay out more than £70,000.

St Albans Crown Court heard how the discount store sold more than 95,000 Hi Viz safety jackets that were not fit for purpose.

The £1 vests bore the logo: “Be safe and be seen.”

However, tests were carried out on one of the jackets and its ‘reflectivity’ was no more than 2.4% of what it should have been.

The jacket was withdrawn  from sale on June 5th last year and there was a national recall in January this year.

Solihull Council gets targeted by scam e-mailers

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NOBODY is safe from scam e-mails. Solihull MBC have been receiving fake e-mails from someone today claiming to be from our Human Resources department asking the receiver to open an attachment or make a payment.

Scammers will target any organisation. Let us all be wise to their crimes and not give them ANYTHING.

Fake voucher scams on Facebook

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(Image from: https://myturriff.co.uk/2015/11/free-vouchers-scam-warning/)

Scammers are persistent and innovative if nothing else. Fake voucher offer scams purporting to come from large, well known companies have recently been reported on Facebook. You should NOT click on any links as these will take you to a website that will ask you for personal information, under the pretence of being able to post the vouchers to you. The website may also try to download malicious code to your computer.

Stay ahead of the conmen. NEVER release any personal information if you are not 100% sure of their legitimacy.