While assisting businesses is a large part of Trading Standards departments, their main focus is to protect consumers from unfair businesses trying to take advantage of them. As the typical consumer is unaware or ignorant of their rights to businesses, trading standards are there to ensure that consumers are protected. Trading Standards departments will tackle various issues that affect consumers which include:
- Typical scams to be expected by citizens
- Tackling loan sharks in the community and advising customers on how to avoid them
- Protecting vulnerable consumers such as the elderly from doorstep criminals, con-artists and rogue traders
- Providing advice on the dangers and benefits of internet shopping to consumers who are inexperienced with internet businesses
Trading standard departments will also usually have their own website respective to their community. These websites are sometimes tailored towards issues that are specific to issues in their particular area. For example, Kent’s Trading Standards department has a slightly enhanced focus on preventing disease in farm animals and protecting their welfare.