A New Year..and new ways to trick us all

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CONSUMERS are being warned to be on the lookout for scams that take advantage of New Year resolutions.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards says January is a prime time for fraudsters as you look to earn some extra cash or shed a few pounds.

Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “The New Year is a great time to start making positive plans for the future.

“It is important that consumers are fully aware of the ways unscrupulous traders can use misleading practices, ensuring that they are not left worse off by New Year’s good intentions.”

Christmas is an expensive time and your finances might be feeling the strain but Trading Standards is warning not to be sucked in by cons taking advantage of this.

It has had reports of people signing up to new jobs and handing over cash for a new uniform or as a registration fee and then never hearing from the company again.

Trading Standards warned: “Never pay money up front and if a job offer looks too good to be true then it almost certainly is”.

There are also a lot of unscrupulous finance companies looking to prey on people’s financial fragility at this time of year.

Loan companies may offer to clear your debt but this can include an expensive fee or borrowing more money.

Trading Standards is warning people to avoid illegal money lenders but you can get specialist help should you become mixed up with a loan shark.

Many of us sign up for the gym as we aim to get rid of those extra pounds put on after Christmas.

But you should be careful when signing any contract and always read the fine print before signing.

You should never be pressured into signing anything and feel free to take the contract away to read.

Councillor Conrad Winterburn, deputy chair of the Trading Standards Committee, said: “The New Year is a time of rich pickings for scamsters and people with good intentions are a number one target.

“We want West Yorkshire consumers to have a happy and successful New Year. This means being well informed in order to avoid a whole host of potential pitfalls”.

You can get further advice on any of the above matters by contacting Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.