POLICE are hunting four men who took a large amount of cash from an elderly man in South Tyneside for a number of odd jobs at his home.
The incident happened on Friday in the Cloisters Avenue area of South Shields.
The first man is described as aged 50 to 60, stocky build, clean shaven with short grey hair. He was wearing a blue sweater with a small logo on the left side.
A second man was in his 60s, over 5ft tall and of average build, and the third man was in his late 20s and well built.
The fourth man was also in his 20s, 5ft 10in tall wearing a high-visibility vest. All spoke with Irish accents.
Police are reminding residents to be on their guard and also look out for older or vulnerable neighbours who may fall victim to bogus callers or rogue traders.
Police are reminding residents that rogue traders often pretend to be qualified tradespeople.
They can pressurise people to make quick decisions to have work done and to pay in advance.
Anyone who has any doubts at all about someone offering to do work should say no, or if they are worried in any way, they can call police on 101 ext 69191.
They also advise the following:
* Never buy goods and services from people calling unexpectedly or unannounced.
* If the caller is selling something or offering work on your house or garden, tell them that you are not interested and ask them to leave.
* If they do not leave, tell them you will call the police.
* Always ask for proof of identity. Take it from the person (through the letterbox) and read it carefully.
* Phone the company or organisation the caller claims to be from (use the number in the phone book) to confirm their identity.
* If you have any doubt, keep them out.