Suffolk County Council trading standards are warning residents to be on the lookout for rogue fish sellers.
The trading standards team have received intelligence that rogue fish sellers, who first targeted residents across Suffolk in July, are due to return to the county this month.
The sellers are known for cold-calling and offering pre-packed fish for sale, in some cases offering to put it directly in the victim’s freezer.
The victims have been either misled on the type of fish they were buying, grossly overcharged or subjected to high pressure sales tactics and sold far more fish than they would normally wish to buy.
In July a victim in Woodbridge was duped into paying £165 for 20 polystyrene packs containing two fish in each pack. Incidents were also reported in and around the Wigmore Close area of Ipswich.
The doorstep callers were quite distinct as they both wore half-length white fishmonger’s coats.
On the back of these reports, Suffolk trading standards have issued the following advice to residents:
* If you are cold-called and do not feel comfortable with the trader’s presence, you should politely ask them to leave.
* Don’t allow the seller into your home under any circumstances.
* Examine the product before paying.
* Should the trader look to charge more than has been agreed, you should cancel the purchase without handing over any form of payment.
* If you are prepared to buy you should ask for an itemised receipt that contains the trader’s details, including their name, address and contact number. If the trader is not prepared to provide these, do not go ahead with the purchase.
Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection said: “Our general advice would be not to do business on the doorstep with sellers of goods or services.
“Often these sellers prey on the most vulnerable who are less likely to refuse what may appear to be a bargain. It is so important that we do all we can to empower people in Suffolk so they have the confidence to say ‘no’ to doorstep sellers. Ultimately, for all purchases, it is better to deal with reputable traders, who you know and trust.”
Trading standards has a supply of door-stickers that tell traders that they should not call at the property, and that they commit an offence if they stay.
Residents who have had an issue with any goods purchased or who would like to receive a door sticker are asked to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506 who will pass information on to Suffolk Trading Standards.