Police are looking for two men after an elderly resident was conned into handing over cash by cowboy builders.
Two men knocked on the door of a 75-year-old resident in the Fulwell area of Sunderland at 9am, on Saturday, March 1.
They offered to carry out repairs on her roof for £800 and asked for the cash up front to buy building materials.
The woman went to the Post Office and withdrew a quantity of cash and gave the money to the men.
They then left without carrying out any work.
The offenders are both described as white men of slim build, aged approximately early 20s: one was 6 ft tall, clean shaven. He was wearing a grey fur hat with a pom pom on, a red checked tartan jacket and possibly blue jeans.
The second man had fair hair and was wearing a hooded jacket. They both made off in a small white van with double doors at the rear and a set of ladders on the roof.
Sunderland DS Les Goodliff said: “We’re appealing for anyone who may recognise these two men and their vehicle from the description to get in contact.
“We want to remind residents to think carefully before handing over cash to a stranger. Anyone who believes a caller is suspicious can contact police on 101, extension 69191.
“Remember, a genuine company or organisation will be more than happy for a resident to check out their credentials and identity, while leaving them outside, or return when the householder has someone with them. Anyone with suspicions should always alert police.
“We’re also asking people to look out for relatives and neighbours and encourage them to understand the importance of crime prevention.
“And we want to help people take sensible steps to stay safe in their homes. We’re aware that bogus callers can target the elderly and more vulnerable people which is why we want to remind people to take extra care.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 669 of 01/03/14 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Crime prevention advice is available via the Northumbria Police website http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention