Trading Standards in Wrexham are warning residents to be on their guard following a spate of contacts regarding the activities of a door to door sales operation of vacuum cleaners.
People have been calling at homes in the area distributing prize draw cards saying they are giving householders the chance to win a large cash prize.
In order to enter the draw householders need to provide their telephone number, at this stage the householder does not necessarily know that this is part of a sales operation.
People that do provide a telephone number for the draw are likely to be called to be told they have won an award of a free carpet clean and an appointment is made. The appointment is actually an opportunity for a salesman to demonstrate and sell a vacuum cleaner.
In one incident reported to Trading Standards an elderly lady who lives alone in the Wrexham area received a phone call telling her she had won a free carpet clean and that two men would arrive shortly to clean her carpets.
The men are said to have arrived almost as soon as she had put the phone down and began a three hour long sales pitch in which the lady was pressured to buy the cleaner at an initial price of £2495.
This price was reduced in an attempt to obtain a sale but fortunately, partly due to support from a neighbour, the lady was able to get the salesmen to leave without buying anything.
Trading Standards and North Wales Police are warning residents to think very carefully if they are told they have won a prize or award and before allowing anyone into their home to demonstrate anything.
In most cases if you agree to buy anything costing over £35 from a trader at your door, the law gives you a 7 day “cooling off” period to change your mind. The trader must give you a written cancellation notice. Failure to give this notice is a criminal offence.
Residents are also being advised to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be vulnerable and to report any suspicious incidents or activity in your street to the Police on 101 or Consumer Direct on 08545 040506.