POLICE and trading standards officers have been cracking down on rogue traders.

Traders were pulled over on roads throughout East Lancashire and warned abut their conduct and officers checked on the welfare of 65 victims of fraudsters.

As part of Operation Rogue Trader, officers also visited post offices to warn staff to be aware of customers drawing out unusually large sums of money or transferring thousands of pounds abroad.

It comes as figures show that in the last year, Lancashire Trading Standards has received 174 calls about doorstep incidents and nearly 500 complaints about scams.

Paul Noone, head of Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: “Operation Rogue Trader is a key part of the national strategy to proactively target this type of criminality and ensure that agencies are effective in sharing information and resources.

“Rogue traders prey on our most vulnerable residents, conning them out of vast sums of money, which in many cases is their life savings, for unnecessary and overpriced work. Research shows that this can have a serious and lasting effect on the victim’s health and their confidence.

“Our advice is always to say no to cold-callers. If you need a job doing get a number of quotes and agree a price and the work to be done in writing before going ahead. Our Safe Trader Scheme is a good place to begin if you’re looking for trusted tradespeople.”

Chief Inspector David Mangan said: “This week of activity is aimed at disrupting criminals who masquerade as legitimate traders in order to target vulnerable residents.

“Rogue trading is a UK wide problem and evidence suggests that rogue traders often travel vast distances to commit offences and a number of distraction burglars network with each other and associate with rogue traders.

“Therefore it’s important to raise awareness on a local and national level of the dangers of rogue trading.”

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of any distraction burglar or rogue trader should call police on 101. For advice call 0303 3331111.