Householders were today urged to be aware of the threat posed by rogue doorstep traders as winter turns to spring.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards says conmen take advantage of milder weather by calling unannounced on vulnerable people and asking if any repairs are needed in their homes or gardens.
Unscrupulous traders can leave customers out of pocket for shoddy jobs – and on some occasions will demand money without doing any work at all.
Traders have also been known to drive people to the bank to withdraw cash there and then.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “We are striving to catch these scammers and bring them to justice, keeping them out of our communities where they are causing very real damage to residents’ lives.
“We would advise residents not to do business on the doorstep and, if you are worried about paying for home improvements, to use a vetted trader scheme.
“Please remember that there are many reputable traders out there who will deliver a quality service, it is the minority of fraudsters that trading standards officers are working hard to stamp out.”
People with concerns are asked to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0345 404 0506.