WARNING: Elderly targeted by unscrupulous fish sellers

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Elderly people could be at risk of food poisoning as unscrupulous fish sellers target people on their doorstep.

Police and Trading Standards have warned residents in Lancaster and Morecambe that rogue fish sellers are operating in the area after receiving intelligence about a cold caller.

We have received a number of complaints about cold callers using high pressure sales techniques to persuade people to buy large quantities of fresh fish.

The authorities have warned people not to buy fish from strangers on the doorstep as it is could have been kept in unhygienic conditions and is usually of very poor quality.

Vulnerable elderly people are charged extortionate prices for fish that often is not the species sellers purport it is.

It is also feared it could be an opportunity for rogues to stake out victims to commit distraction burglaries or thefts.

Ed Culshaw, principal officer for Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, said: “We have received a number of complaints about cold callers using high pressure sales techniques to persuade people to buy large quantities of fresh fish.

“We’re working with the police and district council environmental health teams to try to tackle the problem. However, these traders originate outside of Lancashire and the absence of a receipt makes it difficult, or impossible, to trace them once they’ve moved on.

“Therefore our main message to residents is not to do business on the doorstep and to call the police if they’ve answered the door and are concerned about the immediate situation.”

If in doubt about a doorstep caller, ring 101.