A campaign has been launched urging Moray residents to report doorstep crime.
Moray Council’s trading standards team receives complaints every year about doorstep traders offering services such as roof repairs, driveway surfacing or garden clearance.
These traders target vulnerable customers, particularly elderly people, by often use misleading or intimidating practices to obtain money.
Now the authority’s trading standards section is joining forces with Police Scotland to launch the campaign aimed at encouraging householders to report such crimes.
Some of the most common complaints are related to poor quality of work, low price quotes which rise significantly because of ‘extra work’ needed or traders exaggerating the risks involved if householders do not get the work done.
The advice from trading standards is never to agree to work offered by cold callers on the doorstep.
Many instances of doorstep crime go unreported because victims are too embarrassed, they don’t know how to report it or they do not realise they have been the victim of a crime.
The joint campaign, which begins on February 25, will encourage people to complain if they feel they have been misled or cheated.
Peter Adamson, the council’s trading standards manager, said police and trading standards rely on information from the public to help identify the culprits.
"Every bit of information on problem traders helps us prevent people being ripped off. If you have problems with doorstep traders or have any other concerns about the way they operate, please contact us," he said.
Police Scotland inspector Colin Mowat highlighted the fact that while crime rates are generally low in the north-east, the prospect of doorstep crime is ever present.
"We support this awareness raising campaign and encourage residents to report any doorstep crime or suspicious activity," he said.
Residents can report any incidents to trading standards on 0300 123 4561 or Police Scotland on 101, while Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.