Warnings have been issued about a new breed of rogue traders and salesman after reports of emerging scams in Leeds.
In one case an elderly resident in Swillington is thought to have been conned out of more than £100 to buy some tea towels.
In a separate rip-off a team of cowboy roofers from the North East demanded £6,500 from an elderly man in Cookridge after he agreed to work costing £230.
A warning about a salesman peddling exorbitantly priced tea towels was posted on Facebook by the Leeds Outer East Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT).It said: “We have received reports of a male having attended at an address in Swillington and selling a small quantity of tea towels for £139. Please make anyone you consider vulnerable aware.”
In response one Facebook user posted: “Hopefully people will shut the door when they hear £139!”
But the NPT replied “unfortunately not”, suggesting the victim had fallen for the scam.
The incident is thought to have happened in the Hillcrest area of Swillington.
Several NPTs in Leeds have also issued warnings on their Facebook pages about a team of roofers from Darlington who are targeting elderly and vulnerable residents.
They are posting glossy leaflets through doors with trade names similar to those of reputable firms.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards said in one incident a pensioner agreed to having plastic caps fitted to roof tiles.
But after originally being given a quote of £230 for the work, the tradesmen then claimed he also needed rotten battens replacing and demanded £6,500.
Trading Standards said householders should always check the references of traders and insist on written contracts. The majority of contracts for work over £170 can be cancelled within 14 days.
Coun Ros Lund, chairman of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards, said: “Rogue traders cause misery to their victims who are left seriously out of pocket by a combination of shoddy and unnecessary work. Much of this type of crime goes unreported.”