Police are urging people in the north and west of Dundee to be aware of cold callers, after a number of incidents were brought to their attention by members of the public.
Over the past two weeks, cold callers have been attending at doors and offering to carry out work on houses and driveways.
They have then been charging “disproportionate” amounts of money for the work and pressurising or intimidating residents into paying these inflated fees.
Non-legitimate “businesses” of this type often operate in a certain manner, where they will target areas with high levels of elderly residents, knock on the door and offer services on walls, drives, roofs etc.
They will often ask for money up front, and may even have fliers or pamphlets that look professional.
Officers are urging people to be cautious and “beware” of traders who suddenly appear after storms, floods or even snow and claim that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.
A statement posted on the Police Scotland Facebook page said: “Do not pay cash up front. Never pay for work before it is completed and don’t hand over large sums of money.
“Do shop around if you decide you need work done. Why not consider your local council’s Trusted Trader Scheme – which is administered by the Trading Standards Department and can provide details of reliable local traders to carry out work around your home or garden.
“For unsolicited callers attending at your home, failure to provide a contract or offer a 14-day cooling off period are offences which can be reported to us.”
All leaflets must have the company address displayed on them. A mobile number or contact number only is not enough.
The statement continued: “Don’t ever feel embarrassed if you feel you have been the victim of doorstep crime.
“If you feel threatened, unsafe or suspicious of a caller then contact us immediately on 999.”