PEOPLE in York are being warned about a scam doing the rounds.

North Yorkshire Police say they've had a number of calls from residents in Ryedale and surrounding areas about cold callers and leaflets for traders being put through the door offering to do work in the wake of the recent bad weather.

PCSO Andy Hugill said: “Wet and windy weather can see residents needing to make urgent repairs to their properties, which may lead to homeowners receiving cold-calls from bogus traders with offers to repair roofs, clear gutters and remove fallen trees.

“Scammers are most likely to target elderly and vulnerable people and our advice is to always say no to cold callers.

“Bogus traders will often point out a minor repair which, after they are let into the property, escalates into a list of jobs that may be overpriced, unnecessary and unsafe.

“It is also an opportunity to sell insulation products which can be unsuitable for residents’ needs.

“Many traders will be booked up, so the advice is to be wary of ‘traders’ who can arrive to start the work the following day and push for a quick agreement to use them.

“Don’t agree to offers of building work, home repairs or maintenance that come from a cold call. Don’t be afraid to say no, don’t be pressured and check with others if the work is required and what is a fair price to pay. If it’s out of the blue, it’s not for you!

“'Take Five’ – stop and take a moment and think, do I really need this work done? Obtain other quotes and seek advice, and recommendations for trades people from friends and relatives.

“We would also encourage getting three quotes from different traders before you agree to any work being done.” 

For more advice on consumer rights, or to report a rogue trader to trading standards, contact the Citizens Advice national consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or by visiting their website

If residents feel threatened or intimated by a cold caller, they should report it immediately to the police by calling 999. Non-urgent issues can be reported to the police via 101.