Watch out for rogue TV aerial companies in Hampshire’s digital switchover

Canoe Lake

Picture: Shaun Roster

Robbers target man on a bike at Canoe Lake

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ROGUE traders are using the confusion over the digital television switchover to try to dupe residents into handing over cash for work that doesn’t need doing.

Trading Standards has warned householders to be on their guard after reports a man claiming to be from an aerial company is targeting Leigh Park.

He told residents they needed a digital aerial to be able to watch television come the switchover in March. But there is no such thing as a digital aerial.

If you already have cable or satellite television with good reception there is no need to do anything.

A standard analogue television aerial should be fine for digital.

Shane Banks from Apex Aerials, in Waterlooville, said: ‘There is no such thing as a digital aerial.

‘You can get digital approved aerials so that’s where it gets a bit confusing.

‘But I couldn’t walk past a house and say “that aerial needs replacing”.

‘You don’t need a new aerial all the time yours is working and you have good reception.’

A cold caller claiming to be from an aerial company targeted a home in Leigh Park last week and the householder sent them away without parting with any money.

They immediately contacted Trading Standards which believes the conman may have targeted others in the area.

According to Hampshire Trading Standards, householders only need to replace their aerial if they have poor reception on an analogue TV.

A small number of people may also need a wideband aerial to receive all the channels available.

Those aged over 75, disabled or on certain benefits may be eligible for help from the Switchover Help Scheme.

And those entitled to help should have already received a letter and information pack though the post.

To check if you are eligible visit helpscheme.co.uk or call 0800 40 85 900.

If you do need to replace your roof top aerial, Trading Standards advice is to look for a Registered Digital Installer (RDI), who has been trained and security checked.

To find an RDI visit rdi-lb.co.uk or call the Digital UK advice line on 08456 50 50 50.

Anyone with information about rogue traders claiming television aerials need to be replaced, or about any other doorstep crime should call Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service Quick Response Team.

Call them on 01962 833666 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Specially trained officers can provide advice.