Consumer Advice

The first steps to being a confident consumer are to have a clear understanding of your rights and to know the remedies that are available to you when things go wrong.

Click on the topics below to display a range of consumer guidance leaflets that can help you get the information you need:

Do you still need help?

Contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service [external link] or ring them on 0808 223 1133


Scams take many forms and include fake prize draws, romance scams, fraudulent clairvoyants, computer support scams, fake lotteries as well as those that pretend to be your bank or card provider. Doorstep scams are committed by bogus doorstep callers and rogue traders.

Scammers use all methods of communication to contact you with the ultimate aim of conning you out of your cash.

You may not realise at first that you are being scammed. Watch out for these RED FLAGS as they are good indicator that a scam is taking place:

  • Someone claiming to be your bank or finance provider asks you for your financial details, your pin number or password. Your bank or finance provider will NEVER ask you for this information out of the blue.
  • Texts or emails contain links or attachments. NEVER click on links and NEVER open attachments from unknown sources as they could contain viruses or spyware.
  • The scammer asks you to give them, or confirm, your personal details. NEVER give out your personal information - it could be used to defraud you.
  • You are asked to keep it a secret.
  • At some point during the scam, the person will ask you for money or payment up front.
  • Is it too good to be true? It's always best to trust your instincts.

For more information and advice on scams, check out the Little Book of Big Scams [pdf document] and the Little Book of Cyber Scams [pdf document].

Look after yourself, your family and your friends by reporting scams to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service [external link], by ringing them on 0808 223 1133 or by contacting Action Fraud [external link].

No rogue trader zones

Trading Standards worked in partnership with Durham Police to set up No Rogue Trader Zones within Darlington.

A No Rogue Trader Zone is a clearly defined area where residents have expressed a view that they would prefer not to be cold called at home by traders selling goods and services door-to-door. The aim of the zones is to give residents the confidence to say NO to uninvited salespeople and to warn rogue traders and cold callers that they are not welcome.

Darlington has five zones covering the following areas:

  • High Coniscliffe
  • Fryer Crescent
  • Barnes Road, Barnes Close, Kew Rise, Mowden Hall Drive, Conyers Avenue, Conyers Grove and Chester Grove
  • Smithfield Road
  • Elton Grove

Stop loan sharks

Loan sharks are moneylenders that operate outside the law.

  • Have you been offered a cash loan?
  • Did the lender fail to give you any paperwork?
  • Are you being charged a very high interest rate which means you are paying lots more money on top of the loan amount?
  • Have you been threatened?
  • Has the lender taken possession of your bank card, benefit card, passport or any valuables?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have borrowed from an illegal moneylender.

Report it to Stop Loan Sharks [ external link] by ringing 0300 555 2222 in safety and in confidence.

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