Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information about Trading Standards

Business advice

Trading Standards and Environmental Health have been tasked with enforcing the legislation on business closures. Details of what businesses can and can't remain open can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Further information on all aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, including on how businesses can receive financial help is available on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page.

Consumer advice

If you want to complain about a Plymouth business that you believe is open when it shouldn't be please email details of the business to trading.standards@plymouth.gov.uk.

Scams

Advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime is available on the GOV.UK website.

Fake products

Scammers selling fake products on the internet has long been a problem but due to COVID-19 there is now fake versions of hand wash, bacterial wipes and face masks. This shows how responsive and unethical scammers can be, not having to go through regulatory approval unlike legitimate manufactures, bringing products that are likely to be ineffective to the market very quickly.

Email and text

Don’t open links or attachments in email or text messages. These are known as phishing and will mimic genuine Government departments like HMRC or NHS. They are re-directing you to websites for the sole purpose of obtaining your personal and financial details. For advice and guidance visit the GOV.UK website.

Never respond to unwanted messages or calls.

Online shopping

If shopping online try and use your tried and tested websites. Don’t just buy on price, however if you're making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know carry out some research. Check the country of origin. It is thought over 70 per cent of counterfeit goods currently in circulation are exported from China. If you do make a purchase use a credit card if you have one as most credit card providers insure online purchases. For further advice and guidance visit the Action Fraud website.

Beware of people offering or selling the the following:

  • Coronavirus testing kits – these are only offered by the NHS
  • Vaccines for coronavirus – there is no vaccine currently
  • Overpriced or fake goods that will protect you from coronavirus
  • Offers to clean your home or drive of coronavirus

Mobile devices

Protect your devices from threats. Always have the latest software and app updates on your devices. For advice and guidance visit the National Cyber Security Centre website.

If you need advice about scams you can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0800 223 1133 or visit the Citizens Advice website.