KCC Scam Alerts


12 May 2023
Dear Kent Residents

This week we are highlighting fire safety practices with lithium batteries. While millions of people every day use them safely every day, when they go wrong there can be catastrophic results similar to the recently reported house fire in Kent connected to an e-scooter.

Please take time to read and share with friends and family.

Kind regards

Victim Safeguarding Officer


Lithium batteries are the lightweight, rechargeable batteries, they power our phones, laptops and cameras. Many electrical devices from mobility scooters to e-scooters to e-cigarettes, use them, millions of people every day use them safely every day. But, there are some things you need to know when it comes to fire safety, chargers and batteries.

When they go wrong there can be catastrophic results similar to the recently reported house fire in Kent connected to an e-scooter. Whilst most battery devices are well manufactured, and in normal use do not present a high risk, lithium-ion batteries can become dangerous if they are:

  • Dropped
  • Damaged by being crushed, pierced.
  • Exposed to heat.

Kent Trading Standards advise to protect your device and battery from damage:

  • Always follow the manufacturers instruction on how to care for your device.
  • Only use the charging equipment supplied for your device, other charging cables may provide too high a charge and could damage the battery.
  • If you need to replace a charger or cable buy manufacturer approved. Counterfeit or cheap aftermarket devices and cables may damage your battery.
  • Never leave batteries / devices on charge overnight.
  • Do not leave devices next to sources of heat for long periods of time.
  • Never cover chargers or charging devices – e.g. using your laptop power lead in bed.

If you experience any of the following from your device, a popping noise, see smoke or gas, or smell a sweet chemical smell, then your battery is failing.  You should evacuate the area / building and call the Fire Service immediately.

A Kent resident saw a sponsored ad for a piano on Facebook. It looked too good to be true, but the reviews were credible, so they purchased it via the advert.
⛔ Unfortunately, the receipt they received did not mention what they had purchased and it was from a different name. The email address also looked fake.
⛔ They never received the piano and are still seeing similar adverts on Facebook.

✅ If you see something that you think is a scam, you should stop communicating with the buyer or seller immediately and report to Facebook.

✅ If you want advice on a scam contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133

We’ve had a report from a resident who was looking at rental properties on Facebook Marketplace.

⛔ The resident messaged an advertiser about a 4 bedroom house to rent in Kent. It looked in immaculate condition and was a great price.
⛔ The scammer took the conversation off Facebook onto email where he said the property was rented via Airbnb.
⛔ They were told they could not view the property as the landlord lives far away but all pictures were verified by Airbnb.
⛔ The scammer explained that Airbnb will be like the letting agent and they would have a 48-hour window to pay the money, view the house and if they didn’t like it the they could get all the money back. He said AirBnb would give them a contract and any money will go through them.

🚨 This is a scam.

❎ Thankfully the resident contacted Airbnb and asked them if this was all true. They had no record of the property being verified with them and they said that’s not how Airbnb works.

For advice and to report scams contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Kent resident targeted by Green Energy Scam

⛔ The homeowner was called by a company who said they were doing work on behalf of the Council. The company said they would inspect, at no cost, the inverter on the homeowners solar panels. Fortunately the resident called the Council to check, they had no knowledge of this and confirmed the caller was a scammer.

🚨 This is a scam.

We know that householders are being targeted by bogus companies offering unnecessary work on solar panels.

❎ Be very cautious of cold callers.
❎ Always double check what they are saying to you.
❎ If you need a safe trader use Trading Standards Checked 

For advice and to report contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Report scams and get advice from Citizens Advice consumer helpline 
Argos recalls LOL Surprise UK Surprise Cosmetic toy over potential allergic reaction.

❌ Affected batch code: 1F01
❌ Sales period: February 1, 2021 to March 10, 2023
❌ This product does not meet the requirements of The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011.

⚠️Hazard: The notice has been issued because Benzyl Benzoate 120-51-4 which is an antimicrobial, perfuming & solvent ingredient & CI 15865 3564-21-4 / 5280-66-0 which is a colorant ingredient are not indicated on the ingredients list for batch 1F01. No other batches are affected.

❎ If you are in possession of this product and you have an allergy or intolerance to Benzyl Benzoate 120-51-4, please immediately stop using the product and return it to your local Argos store for a full refund. Please see the Argos recall website.

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If you have information on doorstep criminals, counterfeit, fake or illegal goods, illicit tobacco, loan sharks or those selling restricted items to underage kids, call the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 
Report to Crimestoppers

To report scams and get advice on consumer issues call Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline on
0808 223 1133.
Report to Citizens Advice


Trading Standards Checked carries out checks on traders so customers can have peace of mind when choosing a tradesperson to do work in their home.

Please help to keep your family and community safe. If you need work done in your home or garden, visit the website to find a safe local tradesperson.

Visit Trading Standards Checked

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