Householders in Burnley and Clitheroe are being warned to beware of cold calling gardeners, solar panel scams and dodgy doorstep sellers.
The warning has been issued by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards after reports of door-to-door sellers of household goods such as tea towels, dishcloths and gardening gloves using underhand sales tactics when targeting residents in Burnley and Clitheroe.
The sellers tell people they have been referred by their local Social Services, or that the money raised goes to a good or charitable cause, none of which are true. The quality of the goods is poor and they are being sold at inflated prices.
Reports are also being received across Lancashire of cold-callers offering to repave driveways or carry out treatments to eradicate weeds, including jet washing. This work is often completed to a poor standard with weeds growing back quickly.
County Coun. Albert Atkinson, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: "Scams come in all forms and anyone can become a victim. We all need to be particularly vigilant when people come cold calling door-to-door. You should always use a door chain, check ID badges and say a polite 'no' when people try to sell you something on the doorstep. You should never buy anything on impulse and always take the time to find a reputable tradesperson by using programmes such as our Lancashire Safe Trader scheme. If you want to report a scam or need any help or advice, contact our Trading Standards team who will be happy to help."
To find a trader in your area, visit http://safetrader.org.uk/ or call 0303 333 1111. Contact our Trading Standards team via the Citizen's Advice helpline, 03454 04 05 06.
You can report a scam to Action Fraud by visiting https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or calling 0300 123 2040.