Trading Standards is again warning Devon residents to check the credentials of companies selling energy efficiency products following an increase in consumer complaints.

A recent example is a company who claims to offer government-backed energy-saving grants of up to £8,000.

Scam letters have been sent to properties in Devon from a company purporting to act on behalf of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a government energy efficiency scheme.

The letter urges householders to register by February 28 for ‘new free funding’ up to £8,000 to help improve the energy efficiency of their home.

It offers items including free boiler replacement, solar installation, draught proofing, doors, double glazing and underfloor installation.

Dolores Riordan, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standard’s Operations Manager, said: “These letters give the impression that they are sanctioned by local authorities – they are not.

“The elderly and vulnerable are often targeted by the people sending out these mailings. If people do respond it’s likely that their details will be added to a scammers database and they will probably be targeted with even more junk scam mail.

“Our best advice is to remember that if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is and put these and similar mailings straight into the recycle bin. #

“It’s also worth people checking that elderly relatives/people they care for are not unwittingly paying money into these scams. A large rise in the amount of scam mail being posted to them is an early indicator that they may be.”

Advice on scams and a range of other consumer issues is available by phoning Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06.

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