Local people across the UK have been told to be on their guard after reports of rogue installers charging over the odds for the installation of new aerials and digi-boxes.
Andy Shimmen, trading standards officer in Poole, said: “They might also try selling them equipment that is totally unnecessary or tell customers they need to buy a digital aerial from them, which don’t even exist”
Residents are also warned to be extremely wary of traders using the digital switchover as an excuse to gain access to peoples properties, in ‘distraction burglaries’.
In the village of Grange Park in the Midlands, a report said that a man pretending to be a trader phoned a victim asking to inspect a recently installed digibox, turning up 15 minutes later and being let into the property. The victim later discovered that items had been stolen from the room in which the supposed work had been carried out.
Cllr Xena Dion, portfolio holder for the environment at Poole council, said: “Our advice is not to deal with anyone who knocks on your door without a prior appointment trying to sell you a new aerial or television equipment or offering to check out your old one.”
The digital switchover started on Wednesday in parts of Dorset and Hampshire, with BBC2 making the switch. The rest of the terrestrial channels are set to make the change on March 21st.