Consumer Alerts Energy Saving Home Improvements There have been several reports of businesses that have cold called consumers, either by telephone or in person, and offered energy saving home improvements such as insulation, double glazing or heating. It is often suggested that there are grants available to pay for this work. In one instance a consumer got a free gas boiler having paid £275 for the survey and fitting. It later transpired they had actually signed an agreement to pay an additional £1.40 per day for over 10 years. Other consumers have complained of paying nearly £300 up front for the survey and then hearing nothing from the trader. Trading Standards advice is never agree to work unless you are sure about what costs are involved. To get advice about energy-saving improvements to your home and to find information about government initiatives such as Green Deal, energy grants or help with your heating costs visit www.gov.uk or contact your district council. Doorstep Callers Two men selling cleaning products have been reported going door to door. They carried an ID card which they very briefly showed to the householder. The resident says the men became aggressive when she refused to buy anything. There have been several reports of men in a grey van knocking on doors and offering to clear guttering or pointing out roofing work they say needs to be done. They appear to be targeting older people. One resident agreed to have the gutters cleaned but then the men claimed there were broken tiles on the roof which needed fixing too. Another resident was charged £1400 for a minimal amount of work. Trading Standards advice is never do business with doorstep traders. If you need help finding a reputable trader visit www.safetrader.org.ukor call Help Direct on 0303 333 1111. Email Scams Trading Standards are warning of two emails circulating: - the first is marked "Very Urgent" and contains an offensive message about the US President; the other, again mentions American security with allegations against the President. These emails are bogus and may come with attachments containing viruses. Consumers are advised not to circulate these emails or open the attachments. Letter Scams A consumer has reported getting numerous letters from the Netherlands saying they have won the Jumbo Draw in Japan. The letter contains a form asking for personal details and a payment of £13.00 to secure the prize. Another consumer reported receiving similar letters and phonecalls from companies is America saying they had won a competition. Again, a fee is required to collect the prize. Trading Standards advice is never send money or personal details to in response to unsolicited letters.Contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06