Trading Standards experts are urging Lancashire’s Christmas shoppers to watch out for scams and know their rights.
The county council’s consumer team says the biggest risk of encountering a scam is when shopping online, particularly for electronics.
It reports that last year a number of people ran into trouble when buying from sites offering cheap mobile phones. The sites disappeared with people’s money but without delivering the goods.
County Coun Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “It’s vital to know your consumer rights and where to go for help and advice if there’s a problem. The worst thing that can happen is to lose your money to a scam, so be wary and check any website carefully before making a purchase.
“ If you feel something is not right, go and shop elsewhere – be particularly careful if an item being offered is far cheaper than you might usually expect to pay. It’s worth checking on the wealth of information online provided by Citizens Advice. Another good source is the Trading Standard’s Facebook page Scambuster Stan which will keep you up to date with all the latest scams both local and national.”
New consumer rights laws came into force on October 1. If goods are not of satisfactory quality, not fit for purpose or not as described you may be entitled to a refund.
If there is a problem report it within 30 days of purchase in order to be entitled to a refund. After that the retailer can first offer a repair. If that fails a refund is due.