PORT police are urging people to be on their guard for bogus workmen.

The warning comes after several reports of cold callers knocking people's doors.

Community officers Willie Gorry and James Quigg raised the issue with Port Glasgow West Community Council at their meeting after hearing that householders had received unsolicited offers to renew driveways, carry out roof repairs and clean gutters.

Constable Gorry said: "Over the last few months we've received reports of bogus workmen preying on elderly people, offering to do driveways, rooflines and gutters.

"Gutter cleaning can lead to bogus workmen saying the roofline is rotten or tiles need replaced - costing thousands of pounds."

PC Gorry has urged people not to engage in doorstep trading as very few legitimate businesses operate in this way.

The officer also stressed that people should never pay up front or let anyone into their home, as once they get inside rogue traders can can spend hours pressurising people, even offering to take them to the bank to get sales.

Constable Quigg says that these criminals are smooth operators and people can be easily taken in.

He told the Tele: "These people have business cards, fliers, speak eloquently and are not the archetypal rogue, they are polished and sophisticated.

"If people want work done they should contact two local traders and ask for quotes and use firms recommended by trading standards or the council's trusted trader scheme."

Tommy Rodger, the secretary of Port Glasgow West Community Council, is urging people to keep an eye out for their elderly neighbours to prevent them from being exploited.

He said: "Our community council advises to keep cold callers at the door, ask for time to check out their card details, take down their registration number or logo on the side of the vehicle and take down a description.

"All this can save you, or someone else, from being robbed or conned.

"Together, with the police, our Port Glasgow community can combat these con artists."

Residents who need advice or want to report bogus callers should contact police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and if anyone wants to contact the community council in confidence they can email pgwestcommunitycouncil@gmail.com


Picture shows Constable James Quigg, Tommy Rodger and Constable Willie Gorry