An elderly resident in North Tyneside has been conned out of hundreds of pounds by a bogus caller.
The 87-year-old, from Cullercoats, answered her door to a man offering to carry out gardening work.
She agreed to the work and the man charged her £1,200 for work worth only a few hundred pounds.
The incident took place between Thursday, May 14, and Saturday, May 16.
Police are now urging residents to be on their guard.
Detective Inspector Dave Swinburne said: “Callers who turn-up unannounced, whether they’re claiming to be carrying out work or selling something, should always be treated with caution.
“This is one example where this has resulted in extortionate amounts being charged for a relatively small bit of work.
“It’s a timely reminder for people to be vigilant.
“Always get quotes from a number of companies before agreeing to work being done, and check identities of workmen and the company’s credentials.
“Never agree to work being done by people who cold call at your home, and never leave people alone in the house, even for a few seconds.
“I’d also advise to move any cash or valuables out of sight.
“Genuine callers will not mind being asked to come back at a different time so their identification can be checked or while arrangements are made for a relative or friend to be present when they return.”
“People should also look out for elderly relatives and neighbours and report any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their community to police. If in doubt contact officers.”
To report any information about the incident contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 640 150315 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.