Trading Standards – Doorstep Crime & Cold Callers

We have had reports that Croydon residents are being targeted by cold callers, sometimes called “Nottingham Knockers”, going from door to door selling goods.

We would encourage you NEVER to engage with a cold caller, NEVER to sign up for any work or services from your home, and NEVER to buy any products on your doorstep without taking time to seriously think about what you actually need and to research the trader in question.

Please do not open the door immediately but check who is outside first by looking out the window so you can decide if you want to open the door or not. Most will walk away if you are firm when you say ‘NO’.

If they come onto your property without permission, call the police on 999

ALWAYS get several quotes in writing before having any work done, ensure you have time to think about the quote and ensure the companies or traders are legitimate by finding traders using Approved Trader Schemes such as:


0333 555 1234



Buy With Confidence 01392 383 430





Which? Trusted Traders
0117 405 4689



Other platforms and websites which offer trader services do not carry out the same levels of checks and some do not carry out any checks at all.

Call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133 or visit to report a scam or if you require further advice in regards to scams or consumer matters.

Please remember to report to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 if you have actually been the victim of a scam or fraud.

How to Report Scam Texts & Phone Calls

Criminals often impersonate legitimate organisations in an attempt to dupe their victims and leave them out of pocket. So it’s important to be extra cautious if you receive a text message or a call from a number you don’t know.

Scam calls often involve criminals purporting to be from HMRC, your bank or from a legitimate business such as well-known energy providers or phone network providers offering better deals or ‘upgrades’ to your account. Texts often involve parcel delivery scams from various couriers or Royal Mail, or even scammers pretending to be your friends and family!

How to report and where to report
Most major communication networks have signed up to the 7726 service, making it very easy to report scams texts/whatsapps or calls to your mobile.

7726 is a number that most mobile customers using UK networks can text to report unwanted SMS messages or phone calls on a mobile. The number ‘7726’ was chosen because it spells ‘SPAM’ on an alphanumeric phone keypad!

The following Ofcom web page has some useful information on scam calls and messages:

The link below takes you to a ‘How to report’ page and takes you through a very quick guide on reporting numbers to 7726 on iPhone or Android. The videos are very short and easy to understand.

To report a scam text you copy the content of the text and start a new message to 7726, paste in the content and send the message. The service will then reply to you asking for the number the message was sent from. You copy and paste the number or manually type it in and send it as a message.

To report a scam call number you just need to copy the number, put it into a text writing ‘Call’ before you put the number in and send it to 7726.

When you’ve done this, it alerts your mobile provider to investigate the number and potentially block it from the network, if it’s found to be a nuisance.

Please also remember to block the number on your handset!

See below an example of what it looks like on your phone when you report these texts or calls.

If you have actually engaged with a scammer over the phone and been defrauded or given out personal information as a result, please report this to the police on 101 or Action Fraud: Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or visit

If you have been scammed or duped into contracting with a business or a trader, please report to Citizens Advice Consumer Advice Line on 0808 223 1133 or go to the following website to report online:

Trading Standards – Beware of Dangerous Christmas Lights Sold Online

Which? Consumer magazine have published a report on unsafe Christmas Lights purchased from popular online retailers:

“Buying affordable Christmas lights might feel like a prudent financial move at such an expensive time of year. But 10 of the 12 sets of Christmas lights we bought from AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish failed to meet the requirements of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations in our tests and legally shouldn’t be sold in the UK.

Two sets of lights in particular would be dangerous for anyone using them. And one set of lights bought from a seller on Wish was so badly made that it posed an electric shock risk to anyone using it and was a fire hazard.
Another bought through AliExpress presented an electric shock risk to users based on its very poor build quality. And eight further sets of lights, including two each from Amazon and eBay, failed basic compliance checks, making it illegal to sell them in the UK.

Only two sets of lights, one bought from Amazon and one from eBay, passed all of our tests and are legal to be sold and safe to use.”

To continue reading the article, please follow the link below which identifies the items mentioned:

Beware illegal Christmas lights sold at AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish – Which?

How to know if your Christmas lights are dangerous 

  • Check your lights aren’t damaged when unpacking your decorations.
  • Look for things like loose wires, smashed bulbs or a broken control box.
  • If your lights need replacement bulbs, make sure you use the same type when you replace them.
  • Switch your lights off when you go out and when you go to bed.
  • Keep your lights away from anything that can burn easily.
  • If your lights look like they’ve seen better days, recycle them and buy a new set from an online or high street retailer you trust.

Please remember to report any scam to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.

If you have actually been the victim of a trader or scam such as the above and need help, or you require consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133

Trading Standards – Be Aware of DVLA Scams

Fake emails purporting to be from DVLA are being used to lure people into giving away their bank details.

The latest dodgy DVLA email tries to create a sense of urgency with the subject line: ‘Vehicle Tax Status – Unpaid!’ and uses the logo to appear genuine. The email goes on to say:

‘Dear [your email address]. Your bank has declined twice the latest Direct Debit payment. If you will not update your information, your vehicle is no longer taxed.’

The email includes a link, which states: ‘In order to continue to the payment page please use the following link.’

If you click on this link, malware could be downloaded onto your device, or you may be taken to a website that asks for your personal data.

Please remember to report any scam to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.

If you have actually been the victim of a trader or scam such as the above and need help, or you require consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133