Something fishy with doorstep sellers in West Lothian

West Lothian residents have been reeled in by this scam
West Lothian residents have been reeled in by this scam

After a number of complaints from local residents, people are being warned about buying fish from doorstep sellers.

West Lothian Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards and Police Scotland were made aware of the problem after people were pressured into buying fish at what appeared to be reasonable prices, however once the trader left they discovered they had not received what they thought they had bought.

Trading Standards manager Ed Machin said: “We’ve had various reports of sellers travelling around West Lothian knocking on doors and offering fish to residents.

“It seems some customers have been targeted because of vulnerability issues and pressured into buying large quantities of fish that they didn’t really want or need.

“They fetch the fish from unmarked vans, boxed up, and, in some cases put it straight into the customer’s fridge or freezer. Most of it is unlabelled and comes without receipts, making the seller difficult to track down.

“It’s unclear whether the vans have working refrigerated units and the age and species of the fish is also unknown, raising potential food safety issues. Our advice is to buy your fish only from a local retailer or established trader, and never buy from someone on the doorstep, unless you know they are reputable.”

If you are approached by anyone selling fish in this way, contact Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Advice Service on 03454 040506.