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Islington’s new “Scambassador” signs up to highlight dangers of scams

New Scambassador Cllr Andy Hull and Janice Chisholm from Trading Standards

New Scambassador Cllr Andy Hull and Janice Chisholm from Trading Standards

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Islington has appointed its first “Scambassador” to help warn Islington residents of the threats posed by con artists and rogue traders.

Executive Member for Community Safety, Cllr Andy Hull, signed up to the new Scambassador initiative run by Trading Standards teams across London.

As a Scambassador, Cllr Hull will receive regular updates from Trading Standards and will use his social media presence to promote the message about keeping safe from scams and doorstep crime.

Islington Council recently warned rogue traders to be on their guard after a spate of incidents where residents were charged thousands of pounds for poor quality building work.

Tips to avoid scams include:

• Don’t do business with anyone turning up unannounced offering to do work on your home
• Choose traders who have undergone some form of independent validation eg Which? trusted Traders
• Don’t pay large amounts of cash to anyone you don’t know and always insist on paperwork for household jobs
• If you haven’t entered a competition then you haven’t won, even if you receive letters saying you have
• If it looks too good to be true – it is!

The council is also targeting fraudulent traders who abuse ‘virtual offices’, where victims visit a business address to claim a prize or recoup a loss, only to find that the business itself does not exist.

The Scambassador scheme is part of London Trading Standards Week, which has also seen council Trading Standards officers:

• carrying out a ‘Challenge 25’ test on knife sales in partnership with the police
• launching a new poster about the sale of corrosive substances, developed by Islington Trading Standards but adopted for a London-wide campaign
• making visits to local retailers, concluding a recent project to ensure that unsafe beauty products are not on sale in the borough.

Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “I’m very pleased to become the council’s Scambassador and raise awareness of scams affecting residents across the borough.

“Recent examples include people losing money to rogue traders posing as builders and roofers – in one case a resident lost £20,000.

“Tackling scams is an important part of our Trading Standards action to protect Islington residents, including cracking down on the sale of knives to underage residents.”

To find out more about avoiding scams please see www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/spotting-and-reporting-scams/how-to-spot-a-scam.

For further information please contact: 
Chris Roe, Media Manager 
Tel: 020 7527 8751 
Alternative contact - Media team: 020 7527 2307 
Out of hours: 07769 163303 
Email: chris.roe@islington.gov.uk 
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