Residents are being warned to be wary of cold callers following an incident in Cambridgeshire.
Tradesmen have been visiting homes in St Ives offering to fix broken roof tiles for relatively small amounts of cash.
While completing the work the men claim to find further repair works which could run into thousands of pounds.
Detective Sergeant Dave Savill said: “I would urge people to always ask for identification from doorstep callers and to never let people into their homes if they have any concerns about them.
“It is also important that people remain vigilant to activity in their neighbourhood, particularly in areas with vulnerable or elderly residents.”
Residents should take note of the following advice: get a security chain fixed to your door and use it when answering and check the identity of the caller by asking to see an ID card and checking the telephone number in your own directory.
You should also consider if you really need the work done - shop around for the best deal, where possible using a trader from the Trading Standards Buyer Beware scheme and insist that you are given the quote in writing. Residents are also advised to ask the caller to leave you with information to study at your leisure and don’t let them into your home (no matter how friendly they seem) and don’t be tempted by ‘today only’ offers (this is pressure selling).
Anyone with information about traders operating suspiciously should call police on 101, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or Trading Standards on 03454 040506.