Vale of Glamorgan Trading Standards
With an approximate population of 120,000 in the Vale, our
service impacts on every resident and commercial organisation in
the county. Our purpose is to promote, maintain and ensure a fair
and equitable trading environment whilst protecting the interests
of consumers and local businesses alike.
Office of Fair Trading warns of PPI compensation scam
The OFT is aware that over recent weeks people have been
telephoned by an individual claiming to be from the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT) and told that the OFT can pay them compensation for
mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). This is untrue.
Consumers are being told that on payment of an administration
fee, usually between £100 and £400, the OFT will send them a
compensation payment of several thousand pounds. They are then
asked to obtain an electronic cash voucher and text it to an 0203
An electronic voucher works by either going to a shop or going
on line and paying for a voucher with a code number that you can
then text to whoever you want. They can then use it to pay for
If they do this the consumer receives nothing - the
electronic voucher is untraceable and irrecoverable.
Advice from the OFT:
- The OFT never calls people in this way and has no remit to give
compensation to members of the public on PPI or any other
- Be very wary if you are asked to pay an upfront fee for
anything that you have not asked for.
- If you are not sure do not agree to send money or give any
personal or bank details.
- Many vouchers and electronic payment vouchers are untraceable
and irrecoverable, making them highly attractive payment methods to
fraudsters. Treat them and use them as you would use cash.
- If you are caught out, report the matter to the police.
The Financial Ombudsman Service can provide advice on PPI
claims. Visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk,
call 0800 0234567 or write to
The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall,
London E14 9SR
To report an incident contact the police at www.actionfraud.police.uk,
call 0300 1232040 or contact your local police station.
General consumer advice is available from the Citizens Advice
consumer service providing free, confidential and impartial advice
on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call
the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
Horse trader's son given ASBO after Vale Council
Thomas Hope Price, son of Tom Price (senior), has received an
Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), after
continued issues of fly-grazing and straying
horses in the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend County Borough.
Thomas Hope Price, of Glamorgan Horse
Traders Ltd, received the interim ASBO on Tuesday, 28 January 2013,
following excellent partnership work between the Vale of
Glamorgan Trading Standards Department, Bridgend Trading Standards
and South Wales Police.
Principal Trading Standards officer for the
Vale of Glamorgan Council, Christina Roberts-Kinsey, said: "We will
continue to work on tackling these issues and I hope the
introduction of the conditions will address any remaining problems
in the area.
"The order has been made in the same terms
as the order relating to Mr Tom Price (senior); namely that both
individuals must not allow animals owned by them, or under their
care or control, to stray on the highway and also from keeping
horses on land without a valid written legal agreement of the
"They have also been prevented from
selling, or transferring ownership, of a horse which is not
correctly identified, where the details have not been updated with
his ownership details."
Superintendent and Police Commander for
Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan, Paul James, said: "This is
another example of positive partnership working to resolve the
issues faced within the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend County
Borough. This ASBO demonstrates that police along with our partner
agencies, are tackling anti-social behaviour within our communities
and are getting tougher on those who display this type of
"Breach of this Anti-Social Behaviour Order
carries serious penalties. The community’s help in letting us know
when these orders are broken is vital to their success."
Car accident scam
A recently reported scam concerns telephone
calls from con artists who attempt to gain bank and personal
details from victims by claiming they are entitled to compensation
following a road traffic collision.
The usual technique is to contact victims
on a withheld number from overseas and tell them they know the
victim has been in a car accident in the last few years and that
they are eligible to claim compensation. The caller has very few
details of the 'accident' and are often quite insistent. They are
unwilling to disclose details of the 'accident' due to the
Data Protection Act. Often a fake website address or mail address
is given to potential victims to check the authenticity of the
Residents are reminded to never divulge bank
or personal details unless they are certain they are dealing with a
genuine organisation. Never be pressured or persuaded into
releasing personal details to a suspicious caller.
Fake Shipping Scam
Vale Trading Standards are warning businesses
to be particularly vigilant when receiving orders from overseas
which may be connected to a shipping scam currently in
The scam generally operates in the following
- The business is contacted by an overseas company (often based
in Ghana) by a poorly spelt and constructed email from a generic
gmail or a yahoo account.
- The scammer, sometimes purporting to be a religious minister
places a large order of goods or materials which will be required
to be delivered overseas.
- The reason for purchase is often for some charitable concern to
gain sympathy from the business supplying the items.
- The scammer will then ask to use their ‘fake’ preferred
shipping company (AGC Delivery International, Ox Direct Shippers or
Cargo Trust Shipping Freight Co etc) to transport the product and
requests that the business arrange and pay for this direct. The
business is told that they will be reimbursed the delivery costs by
credit card, cheque or money order.
- After the business had paid the delivery company, they are
distraught to discover that the scammers credit card, cheque or
money order cannot be processed, leaving the business with
thousands of pounds of delivery costs and wasted goods.
A Vale Spokesperson says “Scams such as these
cost hardworking businesses millions of pounds a year. It is
important that businesses are watchful of any suspicious trading
practices or orders for goods that seem too good to be true.
Education and awareness of these scams is extremely important as
often once the money is paid overseas it is extremely difficult to
If you have been a victim of a scam and wish
to report it please contact Action Fraud on
0300 123 2040. Information on other types of business scams can be
found on our Trading Standards
Local horse trader given ASBO
A horse trader has received an Anti-Social Behaviour Order
(ASBO)after allowing his horses to fly-graze and stray onto roads
causing a danger to road users and harassment and distress to
members of the public across the Vale of Glamorgan.
Tom Price, of Glamorgan Horse Traders Ltd,
received the ASBO on Friday 9 November 2012, following excellent
partnership working with the Vale of Glamorgan Trading Standards
Department and South Wales Police.
Principal trading standards officer for the
Vale of Glamorgan Council, Christina Roberts-Kinsey, said: "I hope
the introduction of the conditions will address the issues faced in
the Vale of Glamorgan.
"I am pleased to advise that Mr Price has
been prevented from allowing animals owned by him, or under his
care or control, to stray on the highway and also from keeping
horses on land without a valid written legal agreement of the land
"He has also been prevented from selling,
or transfering ownership, of a horse which is not correctly
identified, where the details have not been updated with his
PC Mike Hawkes, anti-social behaviour
co-ordinator for the Vale of Glamorgan said: “Our positive action
in securing this ASBO demonstrates that police in the Vale of
Glamorgan, along with our partner agencies, are tackling
anti-social behaviour within our communities and are getting
tougher on those who display this type of behaviour.
“If Tom Price breaches this order, he will
be arrested and placed before the courts. We urge the public and
local residents to contact the police if they see Mr Price in
breach of any of the conditions of his ASBO. The community’s help
in letting us know when these orders are broken is vital to their
National Consumer Week 2012 "Cold calling - dont buy it"
National Consumer Week 2012 will be launching 12 November
from the Age UK headquarters in London.
The theme this year is 'cold calling - don't buy it' to empower
the most vulnerable consumers to say no to cold calling doorstep
traders and stay safe in their homes.
Full details of the campaign and downloadable materials can be
found on the Trading
Standards Institute website.
If you would like a weatherproof door sign to display
please contact Trading Standards on 01446 709105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Little Book of Big Scams
Every year billions of pounds are lost by the British public to
scammers. Prevention through awareness is fundamental in
tackling the problem.
The Little Book of Big Scams, produced by the
Metropolitan Police’s Operation Sterling, aims to assist by
providing the public with information and guidance on current
scams and actively aims to prevent fraud.
The publication is free to download and
distribution is actively encouraged in order to tackle this often
devastating crime. Vale residents are encouraged to pass the
information on to vulnerable or elderly members of the community
who may benefit from this information.
If you are unable to print this information
yourself and would like Trading Standards to mail you a copy*,
please contact the department on 01446 709105 or email
*Please note, we are only able to send one
copy of this publication per household.
Don’t die of ignorance whilst camping this summer
With the summer now in full swing, Vale Trading Standards are
reminding the public not to use or leave smouldering barbeques
inside their tents, caravans or other enclosed spaces due to the
risk of Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
This warning follows several tragic deaths and
accidents in the UK in recent years due where campers have taken
the items into or near the tent for warmth due to cold and wet
Barbecues produce CO fumes even when they are
working well or after the flames have long gone. The
colourless odourless gas is highly poisonous and can kill quickly.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include flu like
symptoms such as:
- Irregular breathing
Consumers are urged to read the product safety
instructions and to always light outside in a ventilated area where
the fumes can escape. Carbon monoxide detectors are not
designed for use inside tents and will not offer protection unless
in the home.
A vale spokesperson commented “Sadly, even
after recent tragic events, many people are still unaware of the
risks posed by carbon monoxide from barbeques. Please, never take
barbeques inside a tent or caravan even if it looks extinguished.
If you are cold whilst camping bring extra clothing or blankets,
the risk is simply not worth your life and that of your family”
Anyone who suspects they are suffering from
carbon monoxide poisoning while inside a tent or other enclosed
area should go outside and seek medical help from a qualified
healthcare professional or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
Vale Trading Standards ask residents to be vigilant after
spate of dumped horse carcases.
Vale of Glamorgan Council Trading Standards department are
asking local residents and those within the farming and equine
communities to be vigilant after a recent spate of equine carcases
being dumped within the county.
Principal Trading Standards Officer Christina Roberts-Kinsey
said "the illegal dumping of carcases will not be tolerated within
the Vale of Glamorgan. The discovery of these carcases is highly
upsetting for members of our community. Trading Standards will make
every effort to identify the owner and those responsible for the
unlawful dumping of these carcases".
If anyone has any information regarding the above matter, please
contact Trading Standards on 01446 709105. All matters will be
dealt with in the utmost confidence.
Not disposing of deceased livestock via the correct route is an
offence and anyone found in breach will be prosecuted.
For further information regarding the correct disposal of animal
livestock please see our advice leafet:
Barry man ordered to pay nearly £30,000 for selling counterfeit
A Barry man has been ordered to pay nearly
£30,000 following the first Proceeds of Crime Act application by
the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards team.
Matthew Knight, of Tan y Fron, Barry, pleaded
guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to 16 breaches of the Trade Marks Act
1994. Two further charges of running a fraudulent business were
Knight admitted using two eBay accounts to
sell counterfeit Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Ruehl
clothing to unsuspecting members of the public.
Following a test purchase from his eBay
account, officers from Trading Standards and Scambusters executed a
warrant at his home address and seized computer equipment,
documentation and over 80 items of counterfeit clothing.
Knight made no checks on the goods to check
their authenticity and the Crown Court judge stated in his
sentencing that this case "should be a stark lesson to anyone to
make appropriate checks on the merchandise you sell."
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Trading
Standards Neil Moore said: “We will not stand by and let innocent
people get ripped off by sellers advertising fake goods which
consumers think are real. Selling these goods is
Principal Trading Standards Officer Christina
Roberts-Kinsey said: “We want to support genuine traders and
protect customers from these criminals. Counterfeit goods have
recognised links to organised crime and their sale and
proliferation must be curtailed."
Anyone with concerns about fake and
counterfeit items being sold in the Vale of Glamorgan should
contact the council’s Trading Standards team on 01446 709105 or
Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Guidance to Traders during the Olympic Torch Relay &
On the 26th May 2012, the Olympic Torch passes
through the Vale of Glamorgan.
It is anticipated that many people will line
the streets to witness this historic event and both the Olympic
Games and Paralympic Games.
Whilst it is hoped that communities get fully
involved, Trading Standards are offering guidance to businesses
during the Olympics.
There are issues with the use of certain terms
and symbols relating to the Olympics that businesses need to be
Prohibited Symbols include:
- The use (for commercial purposes) of the Olympic rings.
- Paralympic agitos.
- The London 2012 logos
- Use of the two mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.
Prohibited terms include the words:
- Their plurals, translations and anything similar to
For example, a retailer offering for sale an
‘Olympic Sandwich’ or printing T shirts with with Olympic logo
without consent may be committing a criminal offence.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic
Games and Paralympic Games has had to raise the hundreds of
millions of pounds necessary to organise and host the Games from
the Private Sector – by selling sponsorship, official merchandise
and tickets. The value of the London 2012 brand is therefore
crucial to LOCOG’s funding.
It is hoped that retailers will want to enjoy
the added value that the Olympics and Paralympics bring to Wales
and that they will fully embrace the guidance provided.
Should you have any queries in relation to
your business and the Olympics or require further information,
please do not hesitate to contact Trading Standards or
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic
Important Product Recall - Hyundai and Synergy Vacuum
The following notice has been issued by
IMPORTANT PRODUCT RECALL
PLU 256749 HYUNDAI 1200W CYCLONIC VAC
PLU 249368 SYNERGY 1200W/1400W CYCLONIC VAC
A quality problem has been identified with a
small amount of the above vacuum cleaners which reportedly have
been known to overheat, emitting black smoke and eventually
combusting into flames. As a result they have been taken off sale
and as a precaution we are recalling those already sold. If you
have one of the affected vacuum cleaners, please stop using it
Customers who have purchased any of these
vacuum cleaners should return it immediately to any Poundstretcher
store where a full refund will be given. A receipt is not
WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
THIS RECALL DOES NOT AFFECT ANY OTHER PRODUCT
'Microsoft' Scam Continues
Vale Trading Standards are once again warning Vale
residents to beware of calls from people falsely claiming to
be Microsoft computer security engineers after a spate of
who have foreign accents, advise that Microsoft
has received reports of a risk of a computer security
threat and go on to offer free security checks. They refer to
their victims by name which adds to the authenticity.
The fraudsters then request remote access to the computer.
This gives them access to personal information held on the
computer, including account log-in information and bank details,
which can be used to commit fraud. Victims may also pay for any
remedial work allegedly done by the fraudsters.
Vale Trading Standards are offering the following advice to
- Be suspicious of unsolicited calls related to a security
problem, even if they claim to represent a respected company.
Microsoft tech support NEVER cold call customers.
- Never provide personal information, such as credit card or bank
details, to an unsolicited caller even if you are given a telephone
number to call back to verify the caller.
- Do not go to a website, type anything into a computer, install
software or follow any other instruction from unsolicited
- Take the caller’s information down and pass it to the
- Use up-to-date versions of your operating and application
- Make sure security updates are installed regularly
- Use a strong password and change it regularly
- Make sure the firewall is turned on and that antivirus software
is installed and up to date
To help reduce the number of unsolicited calls, consumers can
register for the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707. For
further information or to report a call, residents can contact
Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06 or Action
Fraud on 0300 123 2040.