Trading Standards Information and Advice: The Rapid Action Team and advice on mailing scams

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The Rapid Action Team (RAT) in Trading Standards assists vulnerable consumers at risk from the activities of rogue traders and door step callers.

If you are concerned that you have been targeted by a rogue trader or door step caller using unscrupulous tactics Trading Standards are on hand to intervene and prevent consumer detriment where possible.

Trading Standards are able to carry out limited personal checks on the police database identify whether the person in question is either wanted for similar incidents or there are issues that could impact on officer safety. The Trading Standards team can then investigate these issues and often jointly investigate individuals with Sussex Police which can lead to prosecutions, ASBO’s and civil injunctions.

A recent case saw Trading Standards respond to a call from a concerned resident whose elderly neighbour, with dementia issues, was due to hand over a large cheque to a builder. A cheque had already been paid earlier that week. The neighbour called in the team who quickly established that the ‘builder’ had cold called and the client was able to cancel the contract. The team stopped the client from handing over the cheque stopping any further loss.

Furthermore Trading Standards are committed to working with the police and pursuing the individuals behind these crimes.

Contact the Trading Standards on 01323 463430.


East Sussex County Council Trading Standards remain very concerned that local residents are being targeted by Mass Marketed Mailing scams.

These types of scams are often misleading, making false promises of huge bogus lottery wins or other high value prizes, but they always insist on payment to the sender before any winnings can be claimed.

These include fake lottery and prize draw wins, bogus psychic predictions, and miracle health cures which are usually come in the form of unsolicited letters, emails or telephone calls. In the worst cases, victims, typically the elderly or vulnerable can become chronically involved, constantly sending off money for false fees or charges. In some cases victims will be asked by the criminals to transfer money abroad to someone they do not really know.

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a scam or you would like further information you can contact Trading Standards on 0345 60 80 197.

In some cases Trading Standards officers may intervene working with the friends and families of victims to reduce the risk of repeat victimisation.