Vulnerable warned over fish scam

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Residents in Derbyshire are being warned not to fall for a doorstep scam where fish sellers leave them with a bill running into hundreds of pounds for goods they do not want.

Derbyshire Council is issuing the warning, following a number of complaints from people across the county.

Door-to-door sellers have been showing a piece of white fish to residents – often the elderly and vulnerable – saying they are selling it at ‘cheaper than supermarket prices’.

Householders believe they are only buying a few pieces, but are then presented with a large bag of fish and a bill of more than £100.

Coun Kevin Parkinson, council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Our trading standards officers have had a number of calls where elderly residents have been pressured into buying fish and end up with a large bill and a freezer full of fish they do not want.

“The people selling the fish are unlikely to return to the area and they rarely give a receipt, so their business premises are impossible to trace.

“Someone buying fish in this way should have a legal right to cancel within seven days. However, in a situation like this, it is virtually worthless.

“There is also the added worry that the buyer doesn’t know the quality of product they are buying when it is a one-off doorstep purchase.

“If something appears too good to be true, it usually is.

“We’d advise people to buy from their local shop or supermarket, or mobile fishmongers.”

Call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 040506.