Trading Standards – Romance Scams

You may meet a stranger…
but rather than enjoying an enchanted evening, sadly there are always con-men or women out there trying to take advantage of people – often when they least expect it, or when they are at their most vulnerable.

One of the nastiest scams involves the promise of romance, but ultimately leads to men or women being duped into sending money to someone with whom they have been led into thinking that they have formed a genuine relationship.

Recent figures reveal that romance scams are on the rise. Indeed, by the end of 2022 it was reported that the amount of people who fell victim to romance scams had increased by 60%, with an average loss of over £8,000. Research also suggests that men have become the primary victims, now making up over half of all cases.

As with many scams, criminals will go to great lengths to gain the trust and convince victims that they are in a genuine relationship. Requests for money will usually only come over time – perhaps explained by the need for emergency medical care, or alternatively the victim may be told by the person that they live abroad but are unable to afford the costs of coming to the UK to meet up.

You should always be suspicious of any such requests for money, particularly where you have never met in person. Speak to your friends or family and ask their advice. If you are not computer savvy, perhaps ask someone who is to perform a google reverse image search which might reveal the true identity of the person or which might raise questions.

It may not be easy for the friend or relative of the victim to realise that there may be an issue, but potential signs are –

  • Secrecy about the relationship and excuses as to why you have never seen the “partner”
  • Evasion if you ask any questions about how they met
  • Unusual levels of emotion for someone they have only just met
  • Mention of money being sent to the person.

How to report it
It is perfectly natural for anyone who has been a victim of a scam to be ashamed or embarrassed, and to be a victim of a romance scam may feel particularly so, but always realise that you will not be alone.

Contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via

Further advice can be obtained by emailing

Trading Standards – Rogue Traders in the Croydon Area

Rogue Traders are cold calling in the Croydon area purporting to be ‘working in the road’ or ‘working for neighbours’, pointing out problems with guttering and roofing. They quote a small amount for gutter clearing or a damaged tile then start raising to costs to do unnecessary roofing work or gardening work.
We have also had a property targeted by rogue traders with a male pretending to be from Sussex Trading Standards.

Please DO NOT engage or use the services of anyone who cold calls at your door asking if you want work done or telling you that you have a problem.

If someone purports to be Trading Standards or Police please ensure you confirm their identity by checking their ID carefully. Genuine officers would be more than happy for you to check their ID and if necessary allow you to contact us or the Police from your own phone.

Do not allow them into your home until you are happy they are genuine.

Do not use any numbers given to you by cold callers. Call 101 for Police or contact our office on 020 8407 1311 (Weekdays 9am -5pm).

If you require a trader, please look at the following Approved Trader Schemes:


Trust Mark –
0333 555 1234



Buy With Confidence – 01392 383 430




Which? Trusted Traders – 0117 405 4689



ALWAYS get several quotes in writing from several traders before having any work done. Ensure it includes a breakdown of costs of labour and materials before having any work done.

Ensure you have time to think about the quote before you allow them to start any work. If they attempt to start work without permission, call the police as they could be causing criminal damage to your home.

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

Trading Standards – Amazon Issues Scam Warning

The retailer Amazon has issued a warning about common impersonation scams currently circulating.

Prime membership scams:
Scammers are sending emails, texts and making calls telling you that you need to reinstate your Amazon Prime membership or that there is an issue with your account.

They will then try to get your bank details in order for you to restore your membership.

Account suspension/deletion scams:
Messages and calls claim that your Amazon account will be suspended or deleted.

Emails and texts include phishing links to ‘verify your account’. Calls involve scammers asking you to share your personal details.

You can report Amazon impersonation scams on its website.

If you’ve lost money to a scam, call your bank immediately using the number on the back of your card and report the scam online to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

For advice or information on Scams from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service please check out this web link: Check if something might be a scam – Citizens Advice

If you need to call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service please call on 0808 223 1133.

Trading Standards – Microsoft ‘Pop Up’ Spyware Scam

Scammers are impersonating Microsoft in pop-ups claiming your computer has been infected with spyware.

These pop-ups appear out of the blue on your screen and ask you to call a phone number for support. If you do this, you’ll be contacting a scammer who will encourage you to download remote access software, allowing them to take control of your computer.

If a pop-up appears on your screen, don’t call any phone numbers or click on any links!

Click on the link below to read the full article from Which? Magazine to find out how this scam works and for advice on what to do if your device is targeted.

Beware of fake Microsoft ‘spyware alert’ pop-ups on your computer – Which? News

If you’ve lost money to this scam, call your bank immediately using the number on the back of your card and report the scam online to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

Trading Standards Warning – Employment Scams

Are you being used?
Whether applying for full time work, or a part time role perhaps reflecting age or parental responsibilities, employment websites – such as Indeed and LinkedIn – are very popular. They allow you, from the comfort of your home, to place your CV or personal details on internet job sites, so that potential employers can see them and, hopefully, offer you a job.

However, fraudsters are always lurking – and job scams are more common than you might think. Recent data from Ofcom shows that of 43 million adults who have encountered scams or fraud online, 30% have come across fake employment scams.

These scams may come in two forms – someone purporting to be from the business contacts you to acknowledge your application; or someone claiming to be from a recruitment agent contacts you to say they are considering you for another position.

In the former, the person may tell you that the job you are now being considered for is different to the one you applied for. In the latter, the job you are being offered probably does not exist.

In either case, you will be invariably asked to divulge personal information including your bank details. You may be asked to pay initial application fees, with further payments for supposed travel or accommodation related to the promised employment.

So, if you are –

  • contacted by someone claiming to be an employer’s agent offering you a new job; or
  • asked to fill out a questionnaire or to give them personal information about yourself over the phone; or
  • asked to give money to them as an administration fee…

think very carefully as you may become a potential victim of employment fraud.

Further advice can be obtained by emailing

To report a suspected crime, or if you have fallen victim to fraud or cyber-crime, contact Action Fraud via its website or by calling 0300 123 2040