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Doorstep fishmongers scam warning at High Halden, Ashford

By Aidan Barlow

Trading standards officers have warned people to avoid doorstep conmen selling something a bit fishy.

It follows a complaint by Sheila West, of High Halden near Ashford, who reported being approached by a man with a northern accent, claiming to be a fishmonger selling fresh fillets.

The man said he was selling fish “straight from the quayside”, according to Ms West.
But she suspected it was a red herring because she says she previously paid £200 for fish from the same man, at a different address, a few years earlier.

The fishmonger offered "fresh fillets" on the doorstep
The fishmonger offered "fresh fillets" on the doorstep

She said: “He just turned up at the door offering to sell fresh fish. But last time I bought them the trays of fish were all rotten.

“The man said he had an excess of fresh fish for sale but it was stale, horrible fish.

“He knocked on the door of my neighbours who are in their 80s and I’m worried that there are people who are vulnerable and elderly who might be pressured. I was naive the first time, I just don’t want other people to fall for it.”

Kent County Council’s Trading Standards operations manager Mark Norfolk has issued advice to residents.

He said: “There is no reason why someone should not buy from a legitimate fishmonger at the door but we would in all circumstances urge vigilance when buying goods at the doorstep. Think before you buy.

“Most importantly, our advice is to check thoroughly the quality of all the goods being bought, obtain full details of the seller for future reference and report suspicious activity to us.”

KCC’s consumer advice helpline is 03454 040506.

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