Search

Norfolk to play central role in national fight against fraud

10:13 16 April 2012

Linda Aspland wants to warn others after losing the money.

Linda Aspland wants to warn others after losing the money.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Confusion over where consumers should turn to complain about rogue traders will be tackled by a national trading standards board in which Norfolk is playing a lead role.

A new front in the war on fraudsters opened last week with charity, Citizens Advice, taking over responsibilities from the Office for Fair Trading and Consumer Focus.

A National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) has also been set up, headed by David Collinson, Norfolk County Council’s assistant director for public protection.

The move is meant to make it easier for people to report scams and get advice on rogue firms, after complaints that victims of fraud were unsure who to report suspected dodgy dealing to.

Linda Aspland, 66, from Attleborough was passed around five organisations in six weeks before she could finally give police evidence about a suspected heating oil scam.

“It seems ridiculous that we don’t stop these sorts of things,” she said.

North Norfolk MP and consumer affairs minister, Norman Lamb, said: “For too long people have been faced with an array of different bodies for advice and support, but its not always clear who to turn to first.

“The Citizens Advice service will become the publicly-funded voice of consumers, championing their needs and empowering them to make the right choices for themselves.”

An advice line replacing Consumer Direct was launched by the CAB on April 2 and the charity will become the first stop for consumers to get advice.

Trading Standards will still play a role in protecting consumers and businesses and prosecuting rogue firms, with the government increasing its funding by £10.5m.

Mr Collinson, interim chairman of the NTSB said: “This is a real opportunity for trading standards to improve the coordination and delivery of national consumer protection. The government’s decision is transformational, enabling a truly joined up approach to tackling rogues and scammers that operate across borders.”

Harry Humphrey, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for community protection, said: “Norfolk County Council has long had a reputation for a well-run and effective trading standards service, and has been able to influence these changes.”

tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

2 comments

  • I hope people have more luck than I did! I gave them a letter offering me a council tax refund - which I thought was a scam. I haven't heard a word since, after several weeks!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Monday, April 16, 2012

  • These organisations exist in the main to protect greedy & stupid people from themselves.When a total stranger offers you a product or service well below the market rate , (more often than not out of the blue) , why be surprised if it turns out to be a con?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, April 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Persistent rain has been falling across Norfolk today

Emergency services are being called out to a catalogue of flooded roads tonight because of heavy rain across the region.

Friday, November 21, 2014
The safe in Diss Council offices which was broken into.
Sarah Richards, Deputy Town Clerk

The town clerk of Diss has slammed burglars who caused “wilful destruction” of council property and left a £2,000 repair bill.

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Hundreds attend the opening of the new Diss Aldi store

Hundreds of shoppers queued early for a golden ticket as a new Aldi store opened its doors in Diss for the first time.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A motorcycle rider was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital with serious leg injuries following a crash on the A143 at Harleston.

Most Read

Persistent rain has been falling across Norfolk today

Emergency services are being called out to a catalogue of flooded roads tonight because of heavy rain across the region.

Read more
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Hundreds attend the opening of the new Diss Aldi store

Hundreds of shoppers queued early for a golden ticket as a new Aldi store opened its doors in Diss for the first time.

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2012
Genevieve Raghu at the Maddermarket Theatre.  Photo: Bill Smith

A Norwich theatre’s Christmas show will continue as planned despite the departure of the venue’s artistic director.

Read more
Friday, November 21, 2014
The safe in Diss Council offices which was broken into.
Sarah Richards, Deputy Town Clerk

The town clerk of Diss has slammed burglars who caused “wilful destruction” of council property and left a £2,000 repair bill.

Read more
Thursday, November 20, 2014

A motorcycle rider was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital with serious leg injuries following a crash on the A143 at Harleston.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition