TRADING standards bosses have warned of rogue traders, including cold callers and phone scammers, operating in Lancashire.

The warning follows several incidents of suspicious activity across the county over the last month.

In Burnley, there have been reports of cavity wall insulation firms going door-to-door in the Towneley area.

They claim they can rectify issues with existing insulation with a government grant.

However, Lancashire County Council trading standards officers say it is highly likely they will add substantial charges for any repairs they make.

A Nelson woman received a call claiming to be from her phone provider saying she hadn’t paid her bill and asking for her bank details to make a payment.

Officers said this was a scam designed to make recipients panic, by not giving them time to think.

Older people have also reported receiving calls from an 0161 number, claiming to be from the Work and Pensions Department asking them to provide all their personal information, including bank details and date of birth.

It is the same number that has previously been used by scammers claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

County trading standards staff said are warned that the DWP and HMRC do not contact people over the phone for personal details in this way, proving these calls are scams.

In Chorley, residents have been warned against bogus gardening services firms while in Preston there have been reports of aggressive sales tactics by conservatory roof companies.

Cold callers in Fleetwood have been offering jet washing of drives for £350.

Cllr Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, who represents Ribble Valley North East, said: “These scammers target vulnerable people and use every trick in the book to take their money or get them to hand over their personal details.

“Don’t be pressurised into making decisions about work to your property when salespeople knock on the door. You don’t have to agree there and then, no matter what tactics they use, and we’d always advise people to say ‘no thank-you’ to cold callers.

“It’s easy to get caught out by phone scams, but if you receive calls from people purporting to be from government departments or phone providers and asking for money, hang up.”

Cllr Atkinson said the the council’s ‘Scambuster Stan' Facebook page contained consumer alert updates.