TRADING standards officers are warning residents to beware of cold callers selling cleaning products after reports of residents paying as much as £200 for worthless goods.

North Yorkshire County Council officers received reports of people selling potentially unsafe cleaning products, adding that the cold callers often introduce themselves as ex-armed forces personnel and target elderly or vulnerable residents.

County councillor Andrew Lee, executive member for trading standards, said: “We are very concerned at the growing number of incidents around the county where vulnerable residents are targeted and duped into buying extremely poor quality dusters and other cleaning materials. These cold callers use a range of tactics to generate sympathy and we know of cases where people have paid as much as £200 for products that are practically worthless.”

Incidents should be reported to the Citizens Advice Bureau or if residents feel threatened by cold callers they should call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.