Police in the Borders are urging the public to remain vigilant about bogus workmen targeting vulnerable members of the community during the festive period, following a recent incident in Galashiels.
Neighbours of an elderly couple in Oatlands Terrace noticed a group of men carrying out work on the outside of their property and became suspicious, so contacted police.
When officers arrived it was established that the group had charged a large three-figure sum to undertake the job.
Three men were subsequently charged under the Consumer Protection Act and will appear in court at a later date.
Officers thanked the neighbours for their vigilance and ask that any such suspicious activity is reported to police immediately.
Inspector Tony Hodges said: “Whilst we are in no way looking to cast suspicion on legitimate tradesmen, bogus workmen actively target those in our communities who they regard as vulnerable, offering to carry out genuine work, for over-inflated prices and very often to a sub-standard of workmanship.
“By highlighting to family, contacting police or trading standards, we can ensure that only legitimate tradesmen carry out work for homeowners within our communities.
“Over the winter months please keep an eye on any neighbours’ properties for ongoing works and if in any doubt as to the validity of this, do not hesitate to contact us on 101.
“As always, the noting of vehicle registration numbers and descriptions of those involved can be of great assistance to our officers.
“I would also ask all members of the public never to allow cold-callers to carry out unsolicited work on your home, and always check the identification of anyone claiming to be a tradesman.
“If you are not entirely satisfied with who they claim to be do not allow them entry to your property and contact police.”