Local police are reminding residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable, to be on their guard against rogue traders. They call at peoples homes and may offer a range of services, which could include gardening work, general building, tarmac and roofing/guttering work. They may suggest that they have spotted a problem which they are able to rectify. They may take money from householders on the pretence of having done work or rectified the problem when they haven’t, or they may have done the work to a poor standard.

The following advice should be borne in mind, to help avoid becoming victim to a rogue trader:

Doorstep callers-“if in doubt, keep them out”,

Don’t be taken in by sales banter or high-pressure selling techniques.

Don’t sign anything on the spot.

If the caller points out a problem and offers to rectify it then and there, decline and get a second opinion. Does the work need doing? If so, shop around for the best price.

Think very carefully before agreeing to a trader starting work straight-away.

Avoid handing over money before any work is started.

Call a member of your family/ a neighbour or someone you trust to discuss before agreeing any work.

It’s OK to say “no”. It’s your doorstep and your decision, and if you feel pressurised, ask the person to leave.

Remember, if the tradesperson is genuine, they will be happy to allow you time to make a decision, and to provide you with written quotations for the work, and agree a time to return to complete any work should you decide to go ahead