Matt Allright is the familiar face we associate with uncovering Rogue Traders every week on BBC1, going undercover to find all sorts of deceit and exploitation, from restaurants employing illegal immigrants to plumbers ripping off the elderly, but perhaps he'd be equally as successful by simply using a home computer.
Residents are now being warned of rogue traders who hide behind glossy internet sites.
The alert comes from Richmond Council Trading Standards who are cracking down on traders falsely including government logos and bogus freephone numbers on their websites to give the appearance of being an approved and legitimate company.
Richmond Trading Standards has been the first to take criminal action under the new 'Unfair Trading' law, after a plumbing business falsely stated on their website that they were approved by the Office of Fair Trading and the Environment Agency.
Sir David Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
"The internet is one of the first places people go for details of traders, but it is also one of the most treacherous. Anyone can set up a website with no requirement to prove who they are, providing false details and often leaving little or no trace of where they disappeared to.
"I welcome the work of Trading Standards in rooting out these rogue traders and remind residents to research thoroughly before hiring anybody and to report those they suspect of operating illegally."
Residents are recommended to look for traders who display the ISIS Internet: Shopping Is Safe logo.
For more information please contact Trading Standards on 0208 4875487 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/unfairtrading
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