Police have warned people to be vigilant against rogue traders after an elderly woman was conned out of almost £1,000.
A group of men approached a 76-year-old woman at her home in a village near Bourne last month.
They offered to carry out work including guttering, plastering and rendering and demanded almost £1,000. The work was shoddy and no receipts or details were left with the woman.
Three Nottinghamshire men aged 41, 22, and 20, were arrested on Monday on suspicion of fraud by false misrepresentation. They have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Police, who would not name the village where the woman lived to stop others targeting residents there, have now warned people to watch out for possible rogue traders who appear on doorsteps and offer to carry out work.
Crime reduction tactical advisor Sally Picker said: “If someone turns up at your door and offers to carry out any work in or around your home take the time to make sure they are a legitimate company. It is rare that any genuine businesses will go door-to-door and ask if work needs doing. Ask for contact details and names and check these out before agreeing to anything.
“Having a door chain installed also adds that extra barrier of security so if you answer your door but are not sure of who is on the other side you can easily shut it while you make enquiries.”
Anyone concerned about the safety of an elderly relative or neighbour can join the Nominated Neighbour scheme. The vulnerable person carries a card with the details of a neighbour who is better able to verify the identity of door-knockers. The card can be given to anyone who calls without engaging them in conversation.
If the nominated neighbour is satisfied that the caller is genuine, they accompany the caller to the initial address or phone to give them further guidance.
Police also have stickers with slogans such as “No Unidentified Callers” to give out. These can be put up in windows in the hope they will deter anyone who does not have genuine business at a home.
Tactical advisor Ms Picker said: “The main things to remember though are that if someone comes to your door never purchase items on the doorstep, if you are unsure of them simply do not engage with them, close the door, and remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it most probably is.”
For information on doorstep crime call Sgt Caroline Broughton of Lincolnshire Police on 01522 558749 or Trading Standards on 01522 782341.