Around 600 people have been conned by bogus callers since the creation of Scotland’s single police force.
A campaign is now being launched to raise awareness of the crime and advise people how to protect themselves from doorstep con artists.
People over the age of 60 appear to be particularly targeted by the crime, police said, and they hope radio adverts, posters and increased officer patrols over the next two weeks will alert people to the dangers of opening their door to unexpected callers.
Police have received around 600 reports of bogus callers since April but officers believe there are many more cases that go unreported.
The ‘beat bogus callers’ campaign is the first against the crime since Police Scotland was created and it is being supported by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Scotland who work with people who have been the victims of scams.
Superintendent Andrew Allan said: “Doorstep criminals, like bogus callers and rogue traders, are cunning, creative and often very convincing. Anyone can be fooled by these despicable con artists, but the over-60s are often specifically targeted.
“Doorstep crime often has a really negative impact on a victim’s quality of life, which can impact on subsequent investigations and the person’s ability to access the criminal justice system. Many people become repeat victims.
“Since April 1 2013, there have been almost 600 reported cases of bogus callers across Scotland, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We hope this campaign will help provide people with the confidence they need to deal with those they don’t know who come knocking at their door.”
Colin Baxter, chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland said: “By working together our respective agencies can maximise our impact on rogue traders who take advantage of the most vulnerable in our communities.
“Dedicated campaigns such as these are hugely important in terms of uncovering such behaviour and disrupting and deterring rogues from operating in our communities.”