Bogus mattress sellers target mums at school

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Lee Ormandy is a Principal Trading Standards Officer
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Lee Ormandy is a Principal Trading Standards Officer
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STUNNED parents were targeted by mattress selling scammers as they picked their children up from school.

Calls were made to police after reports a man in a white van had pulled up outside a primary school in Leyland and offered several parents foam mattresses for sale at a “bargain price”.

But it is feared the mattresses may not meet fire safety regulations and may be of a substandard quality.

DC Tony McClements of the Economic Crime Unit said: “In the current economic climate many people will be tempted by the offer of cheap mattresses.

“Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the mattresses for sale will meet with the appropriate safety standards, therefore there is an inherent safety risk.

“Marketers of this type really shouldn’t be plying their business on the playgrounds of schools.

“Although we appreciate that schools offer an opportunity at opening and close to gain access to a large number of potential customers, we work hard with schools and parents to ensure that children enjoy a safe environment at their place of study. Unchaperoned salesman wandering around the playground is not conducive to maintaining this safe environment, therefore I would ask the individuals concerned to refrain.

“The individuals concerned are probably only intent on selling their wares, however not only will their actions draw undue attention to themselves; but sadly there are individuals out there who may seek to utilise this marketing development for an ulterior motive.”

Lee Ormandy, of Lancashire Trading Standards, added: “Trading Standards advice is never to buy anything from a stranger out of the back of van, should something go wrong they will have taken your money and it is unlikely you will ever be able to contact them again.

“These sellers can be quite insistent and pushy but don’t be pressurized into making snap decisions. Mattresses are required to comply with specific safety regulations and because the source of the mattresses are unknown it is possible they may not comply even though they may be displaying what appear to be fire safety labels.

“Don’t let scammers con you, be sceptical, take your time, know who you’re dealing with and always protect your personal information.

Police and trading standards campaign Scamnesty, which is running this month, raises awareness of scams and encourages the public to report frauds.