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Trading Standards

Doorstep Crime, Scams & Safety

Bulletin 10

Doorstep Crime & Scams

▪ There have been reports of doorstep callers offering roofing and guttering work

in the Laurencekirk area.

▪ A report has been received of a doorstep caller in the Fraserburgh area

canvassing support for a well-known charity. Whilst many charities raise funds

in this manner a reputable canvasser will not put pressure on you to donate or

provide bank details for a direct debit. Residents should request the canvasser

show their ID/ credentials before they engage with caller and follow these up

with the charity if they are still concerned, alternatively consider donating via the

charities’ official website.

Residents should be cautious if engaging with doorstep callers and report

any concerns to Trading Standards or Police Scotland. When reporting

doorstep crime or concerns about doorstep callers, try to remember key

details about the trader such as business names, addresses, names, age,

accents, descriptions, vehicle type, registrations and signage. Keep all

original paperwork, leaflets and brochures.

▪ A further resident has reported receiving an email purporting to be from HM

Courts & Tribunals Service which requested payment for a misdemeanor.

Residents are reminded that it is the Scottish Courts that operate in Scotland

and not HM Courts and Tribunals Service and if you have not visited England or

Wales then the correspondence should be treated with suspicion. A genuine

pursual of payment by the courts will not be done via email, regardless of


▪ A local business has reported being targeted by a publishing scam. An invoice

was received requesting payment for the supply of books designed to prevent

bullying. The invoice was paid but the business is now being targeted by other


From mountain to sea

If a scammer is successful in obtaining personal/ bank details or monetary

payment, this can signify to them that further attempts may succeed. This will

often be followed up by further attempts by the scammer or the victim’s details

passed to other scammers.

▪ Consumers continue to report instances where they have purchased puppies

that have not been supplied or have been supplied in poor health or with a lifethreatening

condition. Demand has increased during the pandemic, as has the

price and this is unfortunately being met by puppies bred on puppy farms.

Residents considering purchasing a puppy should –

- only buy from a licensed breeder

- ask lots of questions about the breeder, the puppy and its parents

- view the puppy at its home, with its mother and check the condition of

both and their accommodation

- ensure you are provided with paperwork relating to breeding, vaccinations

and microchipping and follow these up

- treat the puppy’s back story with caution, especially if the story is a sad


- avoid purchasing a puppy advertised on social media or small ad sites as

these are often used by unlicensed breeders

- do a Google reverse image/search on any photos and phone numbers

displayed in adverts/ websites to see if they have been used before

- don’t pay with cash, but use a cheque, credit card of other traceable


Most illegally bred puppies are sold online through social media or small ad

sites, and 1 in 4 of those pups bought online die before their fifth birthday whilst

1 in 5 get sick or die in the first year -

If you have concerns that your puppy has originated from a puppy farm or

are aware of someone who may be involved in an unlicensed puppy farm,

contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000

▪ This month marked the 4th anniversary of the National Trading Standards Scams

Team initiative ‘Friends Against Scams’. The initiative aims to protect and

prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a

stand against scams. The initiative involves completing a 20 min online course

that discusses scams, how to spot them and what to do etc. Once completed a

certificate is awarded and you become a ‘Friend Against Scams’. The course is

open to everyone -

From mountain to sea


▪ Every year Trading Standards conduct checks on Aberdeenshire retailers that

sell fireworks to consumers. Fireworks are classed as ‘explosives’ and there are

strict legal requirements regarding their storage, manufacture and sale.

This year Trading Standards are taking part in a multi-agency approach to

firework safety along with Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

and our own Community Safety Department. Trading Standards will be

undertaking safety inspections and test purchasing at licensed retail premises

selling fireworks. There are, however, steps which members of the public can

take to help stay safe. These are:

- only buy fireworks from a licensed seller

- don’t buy fireworks over social media

- fireworks must bear the CE mark. Fireworks marked BS7114 are no

longer legal and should not be sold.

- be prepared to remove face coverings in shops when buying fireworks, to

verify your identity and age

The sale of fireworks to young people under 18 years of age is an offence, as is

possession of fireworks by persons under 18 years of age in a public place.

Published on 03 Nov 2020