Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are urging residents not to buy products off the back of a van after a number of cases where members of the public bought TVs and other electrical items that didn’t work.
The warning comes after a number of recent incidents in Cromer and Great Yarmouth where members of the public were duped into buying broken televisions.
Sgt Dan Smith, of Great Yarmouth Operational Partnership, said: “In these recent cases individuals have been selling broken TVs that have been doctored to look as if they are fit for purpose.
“We would urge you not to purchase goods from the back of cars or vans particularly electrical items and power tools as you have no way of knowing whether they will work, or indeed if they are stolen, and you have no way of getting your money back.
“Don’t trade with any person who unexpectedly tells you that you need to buy something. Above all never hand over cash there and then, no matter how much of a bargain you think you might be getting.”
Duncan Harris, principal Trading Standards Officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “This is one of the most blatant attempts to rip people off that we’ve seen for a very long time and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to put a stop so quickly to it happening on Norfolk’s streets and car parks.
“These cases highlight that in the vast majority of cases, if a deal looks too good to be true then it probably is. So my advice is to steer well clear and don’t take the risk with your hard earned cash. Always shop from reputable sources and if at all possible use a credit card for purchases over £100 as this can protect you if something does go wrong.
“If the worst does happen though, Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and the police will take very strong action against people who commit these type of crimes - all the way to the courts whenever possible.”
If you think you might be a victim of a crime like this, or have any concerns about rogue trader activity contact Trading Standards through its partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or call Norfolk Police on 101.