Rise in complaints prompts doorstep fish sale scam warning

Residents are being warned not to fall for a doorstep scam where fish sellers leave them with a bill running into hundreds of pounds for goods they do not want.

Derbyshire County Council is issuing the warning after a number of complaints from residents.

Door-to-door sellers show a piece of white fish to residents – often the elderly and vulnerable – saying they are selling it at ‘cheaper than supermarket prices’.

Householders believe they are only buying a few pieces of fish but are then presented with a large bag of fish and a bill over £100.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Our trading standards officers have had a number of calls where elderly residents have been pressured into buying fish and end up with a large bill and a freezer full of fish they do not want.

“The people selling the fish are unlikely to return to the area and they rarely give a receipt so their business premises are impossible to trace.

“Someone buying fish in this way should have a legal right to cancel within seven days, however in a situation like this it is virtually worthless.”

Councillor Parkinson added: “There’s the added worry that the buyer doesn’t know the quality of product that they’re buying when it is a one-off doorstep purchase.

“If something appears too good to be true, it usually is. We’d advise people to buy from their local shop or supermarket, or mobile fishmongers who regularly visit their area.”

Residents needing advice should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 04 05 06.