Rogue traders and fraudsters are the focus of a week-long initiative in Cheshire.
Police and partners are working together to help spread the word about this type of crime and offering advice on what to do if residents are targeted.
Throughout the next week Cheshire Constabulary will be working with its partners to issue information and advice highlighting the different ways in which these criminals operate.
Bogus callers and fraudsters are known for targeting people in their own home - by turning up announced on their doorstep. But they also exploit people over the phone or whilst they are out and about.
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Jaundrill said: “Rogue traders tend to target the most vulnerable people in the community. They may try to sell faulty goods on your doorstep or offer a particular service such as cleaning gutters, chopping down trees or laying new driveways and then deliberately overcharge for the work, which is of a very poor standard. Quite often the job didn’t need doing in the first place.
“Other fraudsters tend to target people over the phone claiming they owe money or befriend them whilst they are out and about shopping.
“Whatever service they are offering they all have one thing in common – taking advantage of people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, with the intention of taking as much money from them as possible.
“During the week-long initiative we want to make sure that everyone in Cheshire is aware of rogue traders, the most common techniques they use and what they need to look out for.
“We want to do everything we can to reduce the chances of anyone falling foul of these criminals.”
During the week officers will be out and about visiting areas previously targeted by rogue traders and offering advice to residents. They will be joined by colleagues from Cheshire West and Chester and Halton Trading Standards. People will be made aware of what to look out for if someone calls unexpectedly at their home and what they should do if they have any concerns.
Local community groups across the county will also be visited and family, friends and neighbours will be encouraged to look out for one another – especially the elderly and vulnerable.
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “I welcome this initiative and the partnership work which is being carried out to dismantle this activity throughout our communities. This kind of activity strikes at the very heart of local communities as those involved tend to target and exploit the most vulnerable in society. The damage and distress cause by rogue traders is despicable.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I want to make it as difficult as possible for these types of criminals to operate in the county – I want to get the message across loud and clear that anyone who takes advantage of the elderly and vulnerable is not welcome in Cheshire.”
Do you have information about rogue traders or cold callers? If so, please call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.