Police in Hartlepool have issued a warning about cold-callers charging extortionate rates for services.
Hartlepool Neighbourhood Police Team said there had been an increase in cold-callers targeting homes in the area.
Officers are asking residents to be aware of any suspicious characters that turn up at the door offering their services for things such as building work, gardening or any odd-jobs.
They warn that these ‘people often charge an extortionate rate for little to no work and will make off with people's money.
Officers say they may also offer household products for sale at ridiculous prices and some people may hand over money just so they are left alone.
Police say these individuals will often look for sympathy and take advantage of a person's good nature as another way of securing money.
If in doubt, people are asked to politely refuse and ring the Cleveland Police immediately.