Police are warning people to be in their guard against people calling at their homes touting for business.
The call comes after concerns were raised over a pensioner her family when they discovered she had paid at least £500 for repairs and work which had been completed the year before.
It is understood the 87-year-old had been visited at her home in Whitburn by a cold caller who persuaded her work needed doing to her home and quoted her £35.
Once the work started, more jobs were added.
The work she was being charged for, had previously been carried out on her property the year before.
The alarm was raised by her family on August 18.
Sadly there are people living within our society who prey on those who are more vulnerable and we would urge people to be on their guard and for family members and friends to look out for older relatives.Inspector Denise Townsley
Northumbria Police Neighbourhood Inspector Denise Townsley said: “People who turn up on your doorstep offering to carry out work may be genuine but you should always seek other opinions and quotes before agreeing to and paying for work to be done.
“Genuine callers would not put people on the spot and demand a quick decision on expensive work which.
“Sadly there are people living within our society who prey on those who are more vulnerable.
“We would urge people to be on their guard and for family members and friends to look out for older relatives.”
It is a call which has been echoed by Coun Tracey Dixon.
She said: “I was told about what happened by a relative of the lady, that she had scammed by these heartless bogus callers.
“They had quoted her £35 for guttering. Then different workmen came out to do the job then added work on including pointing which was done badly and charged her £500.
“These people are targeting the most vulnerable residents of Whitburn and I’d appeal to everyone to be vigilant and to look out for their older relatives and neighbours.
“If people have concerns to contact Trading Standards within the council or police.”
Police are now keen to hear from anyone who saw workmen in the area at the time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101. Callers are asked to quote number 925 of 18/8/17.
South Tyneside Trading Standards Team can also be contacted on 427 1717.