It is alarming to hear that doorstep crime is becoming more sophisticated and that pensioners across Oxfordshire are being cheated out of thousands of pounds.

People who have worked hard all their lives should be able to relax at home when they have retired but the reality is that as older residents can be vulnerable and become targets for rogue traders.

Trading standards officers are warning that gangs are posing as legitimate traders, offering to complete work including roofing, driveways and solar panels.

Ninety per cent of victims are over 61 and some rogue traders are prepared to wait before they cash in, and ‘groom’ their victims into trusting them.

One victim of rogue traders was Jane Thomas, of Wallingford, who was left with a £6,000 bill and an unfinished bathroom. She learned to her cost that traders who turn up on the doorstep to offer services may not be what they seem.

Residents need to check and double-check that firms are reputable before they hire them and can seek advice from the county council’s trading standards officers if they are unsure.

Neighbours can also look out for each other and alert police and trading standards officers if they believe rogue traders are operating in their area.