Three men were arrested in St Ives last week as Police and Cornwall Trading Standards stepped up their battle against bogus builders and doorstep fraudsters.

Concerned neighbours called the Police when they spotted the three men working at the home of elderly sisters.

The men were interviewed at Camborne Police Station after it became clear that they had cold-called at the home of the victims and persuaded them to have work done.

Nigel Strick from Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards team said; “The actions of the neighbours may well have saved these ladies from becoming victims of serious and repeated fraud. But this incident shows how convincing these rogue traders can be and how easy it is to fall victim to their deceptions and over-charging.”

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities wsaid: “These doorstep frauds often target the elderly and vulnerable. They are despicable acts committed against those trying to enjoy an independent life in their own homes. I applaud the intervention by such caring neighbours and would urge everyone to refuse to deal with anyone who turns up at the door without a prior appointment.”

The three men were bailed and banned from returning to Devon and Cornwall while the investigation continues.

Anyone concerned about doorstep traders should contact Trading Standards on 0300 1234 191