A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of fraud after reports of door-step tradesmen offering to do work for vulnerable homeowners at inflated prices.

Northumbria Police arrested the 44-year-old in County Durham after seven reports of suspicious activity across the region in just one week, since July 8.

Residents across the region including in Blyth, Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland contacted the force concerned about tradesmen turning up at their address unannounced to carry out roofing work at their property.

The men allegedly offered to carry out the labour at over-inflated prices, way above what a reputable business would charge.

Six of the victims cold-called by the men handed over cash in return for little or no work. In total victims have handed over an estimated £2,320.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: "Extensive enquiries have been conducted by our detectives and yesterday evening a 44-year-old man was arrested in County Durham on suspicion of fraud.

"We hope the arrest, and our proactive response reassures, both you, and the victims, that we want to hold those responsible to account.

"Not only do offences of this nature leave victims out of pocket but it makes them feel embarrassed and upset.

"It is a despicable crime and we know the vast majority of our communities will be outraged that vulnerable people have been targeted in this way.

"We need your support so if you have vulnerable family, friends or neighbours then please speak to them about this offending and if you have concerns then please get in touch."


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