Be aware of scams

Scams come in many different forms: by letter, email, phone call or even face to face. Whatever the approach is, the one aim is to con victims out of money by making misleading statements about winning prizes, computer viruses, investments opportunities or even a leaking roof.

Below are the types of scams to look out for and what you can do to protect yourself.

Postal scams

These are addressed to you directly and can include:

  • lotteries or prize draws claiming you have won a prize - they will ask for a fee or processing payment to claim your prize
  • psychics and clairvoyants who claim to know something about your future
  • catalogues selling overpriced fancy goods again with the claim that you have won a prize

If you receive this mail throw it away. Do not respond asking them to take you off a mailing list, because this will confirm that you are at that address and your name and address may be passed on to other scammers.

Telephone scams

Watch out for:

  • calls from your bank about fraudulent use of your bank cards or account - banks and building societies will never ask for your personal information or PIN nor will they send someone to come and collect your card
  • calls about your computer – they will say that your computer has a virus and you need to download some software to fix it, this is spyware and will allow them to access all your online information
  • calls from official organisations – organisations like the police, HMRC or the council will never cold call to request money for a rebate or any type of compensation
  • pushy sales calls and investment or pension opportunities which appear too good to be true

Doorstep

Watch out for:

  • pushy sellers – they may have time-limited offers or large discounts
  • individuals pretending to be from an official organisation, like a utility company, the police or Trading Standards – always check ID and if you're suspicious, phone the organisation to check
  • people offering to do work on your house or garden – they may say that they have materials left over from work down the road, there is a tile loose on the roof or they can carry out work extremely cheaply - always use someone to carry out work that you have a personal recommendation for, or who belongs to an approved trader scheme such as the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme

If you'd like more information or think that you or someone you know has been the victim of a scam, phone 0808 223 1133 to speak to Citizens Advice. They'll provide advice and can also refer to Trading Standards, if required.

If you'd like more information about how to protect yourself and your community from scams then please sign up as a Friend Against Scams.

Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to “Take a Stand Against Scams”.

It encourages communities and organisations to take the knowledge learnt and turn it into action.

The initiative was created to tackle the lack of scams awareness. It provides information about scams and those who fall victim to them. It enables communities and organisations to understand and talk about scams and share messages about scams prevention and protection.

Home improvements

Thinking of home improvements, follow these basic steps to avoid being scammed by rogue builders and contractors:

  1. Never employ anyone who cold calls at your home, and be wary if they can start immediately
  2. Make sure you get details of reliable accredited builders from approved trader schemes, like the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme, and get at least 3 quotes to fit your budget
  3. Always get written proof of what you and your builder have agreed to in the form of a contract, including:
    • precise details of the work
    • time scale for the work to be completed
    • stage payments - never pay up front, agree stage payments which covers work up to the point the work is completed
    • your cancellation rights - this is a legal requirement
  4. Avoid paying in cash or by bankers draft as you may not have financial protection
  5. Check with the Building Control and Planning Departments about building regulations and planning permission, as some consumers assume their builder or architect is dealing with this, remember it is your responsibility and not theirs

 

Contents

Professional services

This section includes:

  • aerials and satellites
  • advisors
  • cleaning
  • estates and letting agents
  • fire alarms and security
  • fire extinguishers
  • pest control
  • property inventory services
  • self storage facility
  • solicitors
  • waste and recycling

Gardening

This section includes:

  • fencing, paving and driveways
  • horticultural services
  • tree care

Business and home improvements

This section includes:

  • bathrooms and kitchens
  • blinds and awnings
  • builders and construction
  • building design services
  • carpentry and joinery
  • doors and windows
  • electrical
  • general maintenance
  • heating and plumbing
  • iron works
  • loft and extensions
  • painring and decorating
  • roofing
  • scaffolding

Motoring

This section includes:

  • garages

Advertise your business in the next directory

If you'd like to advertise in the next Approved Business Directory, phone 01273 292 523 and select option 2, or send an email to trading.standards@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

All information provided is to assist consumers in exercising their own best judgement. Details of traders are correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print.

Find an up to date list of approved traders.

Rate a business

Share your experience of an approved trader, so other customers can see your recommendations.

Professional services

Advisors

Pembroke Financial Services Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

Aerials and satellites

Happy Days Aerials is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 979 695
  • 07764 711743

Cleaning

Apollo Cleaning Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 571 569

JP Cleaning Solutions is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 07894 317807

Estate and letting agents

Maslen Estate Agents Ltd have 3 branches in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 677 001 to speak to the Lewes Road branch
  • 01273 278 866 to speak to the Woodingdean branch
  • 01273 566 777 to speak to the Ditchling Road branch

Fire alarms and security

Consec Risk Management Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 974 900

Fire extinguishers

Coastline Fire Protection Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 413 260

Pest control

Westgate Pest Control is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 911 350
  • 07827 316287

Property inventory services

Proactive Inventories Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 416 684

Self storage facility

Self-Storage Space (Trading) Ltd is based in Lewes. To contact them, you can:

Waste and recycling

All Clear (Sussex) Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 978 578
  • 07930 958503

C & S Rubbish Clearance is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

Gardening

Fencing, paving and driveways

A Plus Paving Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 673 084

Kenyon Driveways is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 673 084
  • 07710 903003

Sussex Driveways is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 600 666
  • 07769 687017

Horticultural services

Tree and Garden Services Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

Tree care

Connick Tree Care is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 0800 975 4535

Business and home improvements

Bathrooms and kitchens

HBC for Bathrooms is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 730 149

Vale Property Solutions Limited is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 0808 225 2525

Blinds and awnings

BellaVista Shutters & Blinds Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 0845 0944 264
  • 01273 303 842

I Design Blinds Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 03333 010 213
  • 07701 355066

Builders and construction

AM Construction (Southern) Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 311 545
  • 07903 312959

Amco Brighton Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 275 861
  • 07810 898323

BM Construction is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 504 105
  • 07970 742838

To contact East West Refurbishment Ltd, you can phone:

  • 01273 540 943
  • 07801 060928

Green Builders Sussex Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 601 474
  • 07712 305631

J T Pugh Property Maintenance and Refurbishment is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 777 674

Rainbow Building & Electrical Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 758 237
  • 07711 263237

Rock Build Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 506 368
  • 07957 870308

Woodhams Construction is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 786 684
  • 07769 176016

Building design services

KEL Building Advisor is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 774 867
  • 07767 481463

Carpentry and joinery

Unique Build is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 457 754
  • 07977 001488

Doors and windows

Glass Centre is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 776 688

Electrical

Bailey Pollock Electrical Services is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

PR Electrical Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 903 803
  • 07568 471186

TP Electrical is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 07887 571321

General maintenance

ACG Property Services Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 507 436

ML Property Maintenance is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 960 002
  • 07722 797825

Taylor Property Services is based in Hove. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 719 039
  • 07786 712287

Heating and plumbing

G & L Heating is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 308 115
  • 07748 980505

GT Plumbing Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 383 876
  • 07886 034120

Glowzone Sussex Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 500 555

IM Dunkerton Plumbing & Heating Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

N Price Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 840 997

Iron works

Iron Designs Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 423 685
  • 07715 491571

Loft and extensions

All Loft Conversions Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 501 070

Soundhouse UK Ltd is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 07771 550194

Painting and decorating

RAB Painting & Decorating is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 416 295
  • 07785 505218

Sussex Decorating is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 424 216
  • 07986 347273

Roofing

MB Roofing Ltd is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

M Marchant Specialist Lead Roofing is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 700 551
  • 07887 818478

MT Asphalt Roofing Services is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 07743 406958

Sussex Asphalte Ltd is based in Portslade. To contact them, you can phone:

  • 01273 417 315
  • 07904 068720

Scaffolding

To contact Prodger & Sons Scaffolding Services, you can phone:

  • 01273 595 005
  • 07576 086328

Motoring

Garages

A Harris Motor Engineers is based in Brighton. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 685 141

Hangleton Garage is based in Hove. To contact them, you can:

  • phone 01273 725 243

Business scams

Events this year have meant that there are greater opportunities for businesses to fall victim to scams.

Increased stress, less opportunities to talk to colleagues and a different working environment are all things that criminals are using to their advantage to commit fraud.

Employees are having to make decisions on their own without verification from their colleagues, making businesses more susceptible to scams and fraud.

Four common scams targeting businesses 

Government grant/tax refund scams

A business is contacted by phone, email or post by someone pretending to be from government, suggesting the business might qualify for a special COVID-19 government grantor a tax refund.

Variations on the scheme involve contacts through text messages, social media posts and messages.

Invoice/mandate scams

A business may be contacted out of the blue by someone claiming to be from a regular supplier.

They state that their bank account details have changed and will ask you to change the payment details.

CEO impersonation scams

A sophisticated scam that plays on the authority of company directors and senior managers.

An employee receives a phone call or email from someone claiming to be a senior member of staff, who asks for an urgent payment to a new account and causes a sense of panic.

Scammers may even hack a staff email account or use spoofing software to appear genuine.

Tech support scams

With more people working remotely and IT systems under pressure, criminals may pretend to be well-known companies and offer to repair devices.

Criminals are trying to gain computer access or get hold of passwords and login details. Once they have access, criminals can search the hard drive for valuable information.

How to prevent these scams

Businesses should be cautious about unexpected urgent communications offering financial assistance. Check that the information is genuine by using official government websites.

Never rush a payment. Use contact details that you have used before to check that it is genuine.

Be cautious about unexpected urgent requests for payment and always check the request in person if possible.

Always be suspicious of cold callers. Genuine companies would never call out of the blue and ask for financial information.

(National Trading Standards, April 2020)

Report suspicious activity

If you believe that your business has been the victim of a scam, contact your bank immediately. You should also report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud or phone 0300 123 2040.

Find out more

If you would like to learn more about these scams and get resources to educate your staff, please sign up to Businesses Against Scams (BAS).

BAS is a new element of the successful Friends Against Scams initiative, run by National Trading Standards to provide free online training to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.

Contact and further information

Find out more about the Buy With Confidence scheme.

Visit Buy With Confidence on Facebook and follow Buy With Confidence on Twitter.