Warning over doorstep mattress sales
Councils are warning people not to buy mattresses from door-to-door sellers.
The Local Government Association - which represents councils in England and Wales - said some "scam traders" were selling dirty mattresses that had been thrown away.
Others were importing them without the proper safety certificates. The mattresses are then repackaged - often in branded wrapping.
Some sellers pretend a local hotel is selling them after ordering too many.
Councils across England have dealt with mis-sold mattresses:
- Devon and Somerset Trading Standards said it had received 20 complaints about mattress scams in the first half of the year - up from just two in the same period in 2014
- In April, Dorset County Council prosecuted a man for possessing 213 mattresses that failed fire safety tests
- In March, Enfield Council successfully prosecuted a father and son for using fake "Dreams" trademarks
- Councils in Norfolk and Wiltshire have both received three complaints about mattress sellers this year
Simon Blackburn, the chairman of the LGA's safer and stronger communities board, said: "These fly-by-night sellers don't care about the risks these mattresses pose, they just want to make a quick buck and leave you with phoney details so they can't be traced.
"These mattresses may be described as memory foam but are carefully wrapped so you have no idea what you are buying.
"They generally fail fire safety tests and are often worn-out, dirty and unhygienic items destined for the tip.
"Anyone offered a cheap mattress on their doorstep should not buy one."