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For media enquiries, please contact the National Trading Standards Communications Team on 020 7101 5013 or email press@nationaltradingstandards.co.uk

Please note the Communications Team only deals with enquiries from the media and journalists. Members of the public can find information on how to make a complaint about goods or services or make a general enquiry on our contacts page.

Foyer Trader Convicted of Defrauding Customers

3rd July 2019 • Posted in News Articles

A man who operated a fraudulent business that sold kitchens and bathrooms to consumers out of Tesco supermarket foyers has received a 98 week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, at Harrow Crown Court. He has also been ordered to complete 150 hours community service, pay Brent & Harrow Trading Standards costs of £59,354 and a statutory charge of £100.

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Car Dealership Fined £50k For Consumer Breaches

9th May 2019 • Posted in News Articles

A second-hand car dealer based in Keighley has been ordered to pay £53,567 for secondhand vehicle sales that misled consumers. The fines were handed down at Leeds Magistrates Court on 30 April 2019 after the company entered guilty pleas relating to six breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

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New team to help ensure estate and letting agents act within the law

17th April 2019 • Posted in News Articles

A new team has been set up to provide greater protection for renters in England from letting agents who charge illegal tenant fees. This follows legislation that will ban tenant fees in the private sector in England from 1 June 2019. The new enforcement team – being led by National Trading Standards – will be responsible for regulating the private rental sector in England, protecting tenants and safeguarding compliant letting agents.

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Mother and son ordered to pay back customers for Dyson vacuum fraud

15th April 2019 • Posted in News Articles

A mother and son who ran a company that fraudulently serviced Dyson vacuum cleaners have been ordered to pay back more than £370,000 at a proceeds of crime hearing at Leeds Crown Court. Thomas Scoffin, director of Leeds-based Excel Servicing Ltd, and his mother, Linda Scoffin, were convicted in 2017 of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to a total of ten years in prison following an investigation by National Trading Standards.

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Suspected computer software fraudsters arrested

12th April 2019 • Posted in News Articles

Three people suspected of being involved in computer fraud have been arrested. Trading standards officers and police officers executed entry warrants at the homes of a 64 year old man and a 34 year old woman in Birmingham, and a 34 year old man in Swindon. They have been interviewed and released pending further investigation. A 65 year old woman from Tamworth agreed to be interviewed by police without the need for arrest. A further suspect remains at large.

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£6 million confiscated from ‘copycat’ website criminals

3rd April 2019 • Posted in News Articles

Three ‘copycat’ website criminals were ordered to pay back more than £6 million* between them at a proceeds of crime hearing at Teesside Crown Court yesterday (2 April 2019). They were told that failure to pay within three months will lead to a further 26 years behind bars for the trio, which would be in addition to the prison sentences totalling more than 38 years for this case.**

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Father and daughter sentenced to 46 months for timeshare ‘leisure credit’ scam

21st March 2019 • Posted in News Articles

​Following an investigation by the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team Central England, Dominic O’Reilly (55) of Costa Adeje, Tenerife was sentenced to a total of 28 months imprisonment and his step-daughter, Stephanie O’Reilly (30) of Dickens Heath, Solihull was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, for their part in a timeshare ‘leisure credit’ scam. 

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Retailers must do more on knife sales

15th March 2019 • Posted in News Articles

National Trading Standards is calling on retailers to do more to prevent knife crime after interim findings from a new programme of test purchasing revealed many were selling knives without undertaking required age verifications.

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National Trading Standards Regional Investigations Team seize thousands of counterfeit and unsafe goods

18th January 2019 • Posted in News Articles

A joint operation between the National Trading Standards Regional Investigations Team Central England, Birmingham Trading Standards, West Midlands Police and partners including the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), the National Markets Group (NMG) and brand representatives, has resulted in the seizure of £2.5 million worth of counterfeit and unsafe products including clothing, jewellery and cosmetics.

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Man sentenced to 10 months in prison for role in carpentry fraud

17th December 2018 • Posted in News Articles

Following an investigation by the National Trading Standards Investigation Team (Wales), a 23 year old Newport man has today been sentenced to 10 months in prison and 180 hours unpaid work at Cardiff Crown Court for six offences of fraud. The prosecution was conducted by Newport City Council as two of the offences took place in the city.

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Runaway criminal sentenced to seven and a half years for role in land banking fraud

17th December 2018 • Posted in News Articles

The fifth man involved in a land banking scam where innocent victims were conned out of over £35 million has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and banned from being a company director for 15 years at Blackfriars Crown Court today. James Maynard is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case after fleeing the country before the original trial took place in March 2013.

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Consumer Harm Report 2018

27th September 2018 • Posted in News Articles

National Trading Standards’ annual Consumer Harm Report reveals more consumer detriment prevented and record prison sentences handed down. Report also highlights new and emerging threats facing consumers and businesses.

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Driveway repair fraudster sentenced to five and a half years

30th August 2018 • Posted in News Articles

A man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for defrauding vulnerable and elderly consumers across the country out of at least £300,000 at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court today. The sentencing follows a nationwide case taken by Powys County Council Trading Standards supported by the National Trading Standards Investigation Team Wales.

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Passport service website operator sentenced

2nd August 2018 • Posted in News Articles

A man who operated websites which conned consumers out of £1.6m has been handed a one year suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £200,000 within 28 days at Leeds Crown Court today. The sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 following a National Trading Standards investigation.

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Website Owner Sentenced for Duping Consumers into thinking it was the DVLA

26th June 2018 • Posted in News Articles

At Reading Crown Court on 20th June 2018, MICHAEL FREEMAN, 46, of Huntercombe Lane North, Taplow, Maidenhead, was sentenced to 9 months in custody suspended for a period of 2 years after pleading guilty to engaging in an unfair commercial practice in relation to a website www.drivinglicenses.org.uk that consumers thought was the DVLA. In addition the Court set a timetable for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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Final defendants sentenced in landmark copycat website case

29th March 2018 • Posted in News Articles

Two more people have been sentenced after pleading guilty to their roles in one of the biggest online conspiracy cases in UK legal history. Liam Hincks received 11 months in prison – which took into account his cooperation with the prosecution – and Caroline Gowans received a two year suspended prison sentence. Their sentencings bring to a conclusion Operation Dougal, National Trading Standards’ landmark investigation into the operation of copycat websites which has now secured convictions against seven defendants and prison sentences totalling 38 years and seven months.

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Six sentenced for large copycat website fraud

6th March 2018 • Posted in News Articles

Six people have been sentenced to a total of more than 35 years in prison after being convicted of defrauding UK consumers out of over £37 million in one of the largest UK online crime cases. They operated a number of ‘copycat websites’, impersonating official government services to sell passports, driving licences and other key documents for vastly inflated prices.

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Call centre trader sentenced for role in computer repair scam

26th January 2018 • Posted in News Articles

A call centre trader who misled consumers by claiming to be from Microsoft to carry out computer repairs has today [26 January 2018] been sentenced after pleading guilty to four unfair trading practices. Narendra Harilal Vadgama (age 56 of Babington Road, Barrow upon Soar, LE12 8NH), who traded under the name Internet Security Direct, admitted four charges brought under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

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National Trading Standards prevents £127 million in consumer losses

3rd November 2017 • Posted in News Articles

National Trading Standards (NTS) prevented nearly £127 million in losses to consumers and businesses over the last year, new figures from the third annual Consumer Harm Report reveal. This represents an increase of more than a third on last year and takes the total losses prevented by NTS over the last three years to nearly half a billion pounds (over £471 million).

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Criminals sentenced in copyright infringement cases

21st October 2017 • Posted in News Articles

Two men have been sentenced today at Teesside Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges relating to the sale of IPTV boxes which allowed people to illegally stream subscription content, infringing the rights of copyright holders. The convictions follow an investigation led by National Trading Standards.

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Brothers sentenced for computer repair scam

6th October 2017 • Posted in News Articles

Two brothers who ran a computer repair scam across England and Wales were sentenced to a total of four and a half years at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (6th October). This sentencing follows a lengthy investigation led by the National Trading Standards Central England Regional Investigations Team.

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Four men sentenced to 11 years and 9 months in building fraud case

3rd April 2017 • Posted in News Articles

Three men were sentenced today to a total of 11 years and 1 month for running a fraudulent property repair business which targeted elderly and vulnerable consumers across the Midlands, following a three week trial at Birmingham Crown Court. These sentences came after a fourth individual had already been sentenced on 17th March for his part in the scam.

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Blue Badge Online Scammer Fined

29th March 2017 • Posted in News Articles

A man and his company who misled disabled people into paying £49 a time for Blue Badge parking permits was sentenced to financial penalties totalling £15,457.35 today (29 March 2017) at York Magistrates’ Court.

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Hartlepool man convicted of selling illegal media boxes

6th March 2017 • Posted in News Articles

​A man who sold illegal media player boxes which allowed the free viewing of premium television content has pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to breaching the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988, following an investigation by the National Trading Standards North East Regional Investigations Team and Hartlepool Borough Council.

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Property fraudster jailed after National Trading Standards investigation

7th February 2017 • Posted in News Articles

A property fraudster has been jailed following his conviction on 9 counts of fraud, theft and forgery. Tahir Khaliq was sentenced to 45 months imprisonment at Bolton Crown Court. His accomplice Paul Dickinson; acting as an employee in the property businesses received a two-year suspended sentence and 240 hours of community service for his involvement in 6 counts of insurance fraud. Their convictions follow a lengthy investigation by the National Trading Standards North West Regional Investigations Team.

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Conman jailed over fake phone accessories

20th January 2017 • Posted in News Articles

A man from Gosforth, Newcastle has been sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to nine offences relating to the possession and sale of counterfeit items and one offence of transferring criminal property, following an investigation by the National Trading Standards Scambuster North East Team and Newcastle Trading Standards.

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Alarm Fraudster Sent To Prison

4th November 2016 • Posted in News Articles

A cold calling criminal who conned elderly and vulnerable people out of over £150,000 has been sentenced to five years imprisonment today and disqualified from being a company director for eight years for his part in a fraudulent home alarm business.

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Warning To Consumers About Growing Online Threat

3rd November 2016 • Posted in News Articles

Consumers are being deceived through the clever use of digital technologies and this is behind a number of emerging threats, including counterfeit and dangerous goods being advertised on social media platforms and misleading listings on online portals. The threats have been identified by National Trading Standards in its annual ‘Consumer Harm Report’, which highlights the types of scams people should look out for and how to report suspected criminal activity.

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Conman sentenced to 7 ½ years for fraud and theft

11th October 2016 • Posted in News Articles

A man from Stourbridge was sentenced today to 7 ½ years imprisonment, having been found guilty yesterday of 33 offences of fraud and theft for running a business franchise scam between 1997 and 2010. The conviction and sentencing follows a lengthy investigation by the National Trading Standards Central England Scambuster Team and a trial lasting over 4 weeks.

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​New Campaign To Tackle Criminal Scams Launched

6th October 2016 • Posted in News Articles

A new campaign has launched today to raise awareness of scams and encourage people to take a stand against them. Scams often target people in vulnerable situations - the Friends Against Scams campaign aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.

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Alarm fraudster convicted

23rd September 2016 • Posted in News Articles

A cold calling criminal who conned elderly and vulnerable people out of over £150,000 has been found guilty at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 22 September) of fraud and for breaching Consumer Protection legislation for his part in a fraudulent home alarm business.

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Scams campaign scoops award

16th September 2016 • Posted in News Articles

The National Trading Standards Scams Team has seen its pioneering Friends Against Scams campaign recognised at the Government Counter Fraud Awards. The NTS Scams Team scooped the Excellence in Fraud Awareness award for the campaign.

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Operation Tackling Counterfeiting on Social Media Expands

5th July 2016 • Posted in News Articles

Operation Jasper extended its reach into Eire in June and begins operating in Scotland this July as officers from Trading Standards and the Police in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are joined by their Scottish and Irish equivalents in the fight against social media counterfeiting. The move is part of the latest phase of Operation Jasper, which was launched in May 2015 to tackle counterfeiting and piracy on social media.

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Sibling criminals sentenced to three years in debt recovery scam

5th July 2016 • Posted in News Articles

Two criminals behind an elaborate debt recovery scam – which defrauded victims across the country out of tens of thousands of pounds – were sentenced to more than three years in prison at Chester Crown Court today (5 July). Mohammed Ali and Samira Saddique – who are brother and sister – pleaded guilty to offences of conspiracy to defraud and fraud by false representation. Ali was sentenced to 15 months in prison, whilst his sister Saddique received a two-year prison sentence. Both have also been disqualified from holding company directorships for five years.

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Buying tickets online - checklist

21st May 2016 • Posted in News Articles

People desperate to attend major pop concerts, music festivals and sporting events this summer face a greater risk of falling victim to criminals after online ticket fraud soared by 55 per cent.

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Warnings over call recording services

22nd December 2015 • Posted in News Articles

The National Trading Standards e-crime Team is concerned about the possibility of fraud after a recent upsurge in call recording services, which people are using to provide proof of phone conversations with banking staff in the event of disputes.

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Parking fraudster sent to prison

30th September 2015 • Posted in News Articles

Leslie Smith of Minsterworth, Gloucestershire, trading as “Ringway Traffic Management”, “Traffic Management Solutions” and “Highway Safety Link”, was sentenced today at Bristol Crown Court to 16 months imprisonment for Fraudulent Trading contrary to Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006.

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Feed Hygiene Explained

28th September 2015 • Posted in News Articles

National Trading Standards has produced a leaflet, which aims to explain the importance of feed hygiene enforcement and the impact of the National Trading Standards Feed Delivery Programme.

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Copycat websites warning following further arrests

25th June 2015 • Posted in News Articles

Arrests at copycat website company after a surge of consumer complaints. National Trading Standards is once again warning consumers to be vigilant about ‘copycat’ websites – and to report suspect sites – following the arrest of five people this morning.

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Cheap flights scam grounded

19th June 2015 • Posted in News Articles

Investigators from the National Trading Standards eCrime team based in York and North Yorkshire have brought a national travel company and its sole director to justice. TravelnTravel.co.uk lured consumers with the promise of cheap flights, but failed to honour them.

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‘Buy Safe’ Checklist

4th March 2015 • Posted in News Articles

Although it’s difficult to be 100% certain that a website or seller you are buying from is legitimate, there are some simple things you can do to increase the odds that you’re buying from an honest trader. Here is National Trading Standards’ new checklist to help you buy safe online.

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Council Tax Re-Banding Scammers Sentenced

27th November 2014 • Posted in News Articles

Three people at the heart of a country-wide council tax re-banding scam were today sentenced by His Honour Judge Kearl QC at Leeds Crown Court, following a year-long investigation and prosecution by the National Trading Standards Scambuster Team.

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Prize Draw Mail Scams

1st June 2014 • Posted in News Articles

In June 2014 the National Trading Standards Scams Team and Royal Mail launched an initiative to return seized responses to prize draw mail scams before the money reached the hands of scammers.

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