Cleveland residents are being urged to remain cautious towards rogue traders operating in the area after an elderly lady was charged a large amount of money for minimal work.

The traders cold-called an address on Child Street, Brotton, on August 10 and offered to clear the householders guttering for a small amount of money. The workmen then added further charges amounting to £1,500 for more incomplete work.

Local detectives continue to investigate the incident and are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen a work van in the area between 1 pm and 4 pm on August 10.

The investigation is being led under ‘Operation Strongbow’, a specific operation to target bogus callers and distraction burglaries.

Cleveland Police have warned residents about scammers who may be trying to sell items door to door whilst claiming they are ex-offenders working as part of a rehabilitation scheme. They also advised people to be cautious of workmen calling at residents’ homes and offering ‘special offer’ services.

Cleveland Police also asked residents to check on vulnerable neighbours who may be targeted by these types of offences.

Anyone with information regarding the crime to contact the non-emergency number 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.