Residents are being warned to be on their guard after bogus workmen were seen operating in the borough this week.
On Monday, police received two reports – one in Whitley Bay and the other in Wallsend – that ‘workmen’ had targeted the homes of elderly residents and tried to con them out of money.
In the first incident at around 12.50pm in Davison Avenue, Whitley Bay, a man told an elderly resident they owed him money for work previously done.
A neighbour went to the aid and challenged the man – who was aged 30 to 40 and wearing a high-viz jacket with ‘Tyne and Wear roofing on the back’ – who then left the scene empty handed.
In Wallsend, an elderly resident paid hundreds of pounds to a workman for work to be completed on their home.
Chief Inspector Mandy Shea, of North Tyneside area command, said: “There are fraudsters out there looking to target the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities posing as legitimate workmen.
“They target areas where older people live and they carry out their crimes by overcharging, taking money, not completing work and confusing people into handing over money.
“Everyone needs to be vigilant and aware of this type of crime.
“In the Whitley Bay incident, one of the neighbours helped out.
“They went across, offered support and spoke to the man. This was enough to spook the man into leaving.”
“This is exactly what we want communities to be doing.”
She added: “Keep an eye out for your neighbours, particularly if they are vulnerable or elderly. If you notice suspicious people at their door then contact police or offer assistance. Your help could make all the difference.”