AN 80-YEAR-old woman has been scammed out of £1,000 by a doorstep trader.

The victim called a number on a flyer she had received for ‘Tree and Garden Services’, as she wanted to have her patio re-laid.

A man came to her house in Andover on Friday, April 12 and quoted a figure of £1,500.

The victim then went to the bank, withdrew the money, and gave £1,000 of it to the man.

He asked the woman for a hot drink but when she came back outside he had gone, taking the money.

The victim has tried to call the number she had used before but has had no response.

Hampshire police have launched an investigation and officers are making enquiries

Inspector Chris Taylor said: "This is a terrible crime taking advantage of the trust of a vulnerable lady.

“Cold calling fraud, either on the doorstep or via phone, is a district priority for the Test Valley.

“We would ask that people always use trusted trades people, and look out for vulnerable neighbours and family members.

“Our advice is to not employ cold-calling traders. If you do get cold-callers, please try and note their details, including vehicle registrations, if it is safe to do so, and call us on 101."

If you have any information about what happened, or have heard of something similar, then call police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190126829.

Police have issued advice to people about doorstep traders: 

• Always use the door chain when answering the door - if you are not sure, do not open the door

• Anyone selling door to door needs a pedlar’s certificate, which you can ask to see

• Always check the credentials of unknown callers - do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill

• Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone

• Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home

• Always keep front and back doors locked

• Consider joining or setting up a No Cold Calling Zone or Neighbourhood Watch scheme

• Report any suspicious callers or activity to the police immediately

• Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family

• Call 101 to tell us about any unexpected callers - this helps us build a picture of where potential criminals are operating

• Check your home security