Beware the doorstep gold rush
12:01am 27th September 2011
Trading standards officers in North Yorkshire are warning people to exercise caution over a new kind of doorstep caller - traders who go from door to door offering to buy gold items.
In recent weeks, North Yorkshire County Council's trading standards teams have encountered three separate cases of cold-calling in the Northallerton and Selby areas, in which people have been asked if they have gold items for sale.
It's feared that residents could be pressurised into selling valuable items for less than their true value, and that they are not being notified of the statutory cooling-off periods.
"Our advice regarding doorstep traders has always been clear; do not deal with them," said County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Trading Standards.
"We are particularly concerned about these traders flouting laws which have been put in place specifically to protect the public and ensure a fair trading environment.
"We are also concerned about these traders taking advantage of those who are experiencing debt problems and who may make rash decisions about selling their valuables."
Trading Standards advise people to think carefully about whether they really want to sell their property.
If they do, they should get them valued properly from bona fide businesses.
"At a time when gold prices are at record levels, consumers need to ensure they get the best possible price available to them," added Councillor Metcalfe.
"They should also think very carefully about the risks associated with discussing their valuables with strangers at the door. Would you ordinarily discuss the valuables you have in your home with a complete stranger?"
Consumers who have concerns about doorstep callers should report them to trading standards by calling Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
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