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Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards are issuing a warning following a report of people falsely claiming to be selling cleaning products as part of a Probation Service rehabilitation program.

They knock at doors and claim to be ex-prisoners who are attempting to mend their ways, before trying to sell the householder everyday household products at very high prices. The callers may also carry ID with official looking logos, but which are in fact not legitimate.

Trading Standards always advise residents to refrain from buying at the doorstep and not to buckle to pressure from salespeople offering supposedly one-off ‘buy it now’ low prices. However, often kind-hearted residents feel they are helping these alleged former convicts to turn their lives around, so agree to buy their products.

The local probation service provider, The Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland Community Rehabilitation Community, wishes to highlight that they do not run a scheme in which offenders are encouraged to sell merchandise from door to door. Their No.1 priority is the protection of the public.

Teams of supervised offenders work in the community to complete reparation work such as ground clearance. This work, known as Community Payback, has been ordered by the Courts and the offenders are supervised at all times by qualified staff working for the Community Rehabilitation Company.

If you are approached by people claiming to be working on probation selling products door-to-door or are suspicious of doorstep callers in your area, please call the police immediately on 101.

We also advise residents to keep your front and back doors locked, even when you’re at home. Fix a security chain to your door, and make sure you use it every time someone calls.

Trading Standards recommend you ignore cold-callers. To report suspicious traders in your area, or to receive further advice, please phone Citizens Advice Consumer Service on: 03454 04 05 06.