Warning as rogue salesmen con vulnerable pensioners with out-of-date fish
DOOR-TO-DOOR salesmen have been selling out-of-date fish to elderly residents in Horwich — prompting a warning from trading standards chiefs.
Two men in white coats gained access to the sheltered housing accommodation on Friday, September 30, to sell frozen fish to elderly residents from a white van parked outside.
One victim, in her late 80s with dementia, was sold £70 worth of frozen fish with a sell-by date of Monday, September 23.
They also saw where the vulnerable woman kept her cash and left her with a freezer packed with bad-smelling fish.
Other residents bought fish with a sell-by date of June, 2013.
The two men with Irish accents told residents they were from Whitby Bay and that the fish was from Hull — despite the labels on the produce stating it was from County Durham.
The incident has prompted trading standards officers at Bolton Council to issue a warning about doorstep criminals singling out elderly and vulnerable residents.
A spokesperson said: “It is a common technique for doorstep traders to sell fish door to door, targeting the elderly and vulnerable with high pressure sales techniques.
“The fish is often mis-described, wrongly labelled or not labelled at all, underweight and overpriced. It can even be unfit for human consumption.
“We advise all residents never to deal with unknown traders who cold call unexpectedly. Never let strangers in your house. If you are unsure just shut the door.”
The dementia sufferer also asked for a receipt but was not given one.
The two traders told residents that the warden, whose name they had obtained, had given them access and permission to the accommodation.
Trading standards chiefs say the fish could also be unfit for human consumption.
They have issued the following advice to residents:
- Always keep doors locked
- Use a window or viewer to see who is calling
- If it is a stranger, use a door chain before opening the door
- Never deal with cold calling traders
- Always check ID cards Suspicious traders can be reported to trading standards on 08454 040506, Greater Manchester Police on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.
Bolton Council would not give out the address of the sheltered accommodation complex where the fish was sold.
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