Residents of South Tyneside are being warned to be on their guard against rogue traders in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.
As the Borough continues the clean-up caused by the storm, the Council's Trading Standards team is urging people to be on the alert as they often see an increase in the number of complaints about suspected rogue traders attempting to scam residents.
These scams often involve householders being given a low price for repair jobs such as roof repairs but these prices can escalate quickly with residents often pressurised into paying for more work than is actually necessary.
Cllr Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said added: "Sadly, after the disruption caused by the storm, some unscrupulous people will be trying to take advantage of the situation.
"I would urge people not to feel pressured to agree to work on the doorstep and remind them that they have a 14 day cooling off period in which they can change their mind. Anyone who doesn't tell people this is breaking the law.
"Remember It's your home - you don't have to let anyone in. A genuine tradesperson will understand this. You have the right to ask all other unwanted callers to go away and not to return".
Residents are reminded that they can search for reputable tradespeople in the Business Approval Register. Businesses listed have undergone certain background checks, so that consumers can have confidence when searching for tradespeople. To ask for a list visit www.businessapprovalregister.com or call 0333 920 2128.
There have also been reports in the Hebburn area a doorstep trader in the town. A man alleging to be recently released from prison was reported to be selling cheap household goods such as wash cloths and cleaning products but at an exorbitant price. People are advised to be on their guard against such people as they are often not genuine.
If a cold caller becomes aggressive, residents are advised to call the police immediately on 999.
To report incidents of this type in South Tyneside or to order a No Cold Calling card for a door or window, please contact Trading Standards at email@example.com or call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 2231133.