Mercenary traders are taking advantage of the confusion around the digital switchover to try to persuade consumers that they need to upgrade to expensive televisions to be ready for the analogue switchoff, a watchdog has found.

A watchdog has been conducting mystery shopper tests on retailers and told the BBC that in one case, someone had attempted to tell them that a £1000 television was necessary for the rolling digital switchover.

"We're doing some mystery shopper work, calling up aerial installers and people who sell TVs to try and see what information is about," said Consumer Focus Wales spokesman Gareth Price.

"Trading standards officers in Dorset did a piece of work like this a few months a go and they found one case where a TV retailer was suggesting to people that they needed a £1,000 television to make the benefits of digital work for them. Just not true."

Set top box

The report goes on to point out that the vast majority of people need nothing more than a Freeview box, although some people will need to invest in a new television.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that people have the correct information so they can switch safely and not be vulnerable to being ripped off," added Price.