HOMEOWNERS are being warned not to deal with doorstep traders after reports of men calling door-to-door offering to buy antiques.

People in and around Malton have received fliers through their doors from people offering to buy antiques from them, particularly jewellery.

The fliers say that someone will call back later that day or the following day.

However, North Yorkshire County Council trading standards spokesman Carl Les said: "Dealing with any trader in this way is extremely risky, particularly in relation to valuable items such as antiques."

His warning comes as trading standards team investigate reports that dealers are continuing to operate in the area.

Mr Les said: "All dealers in second-hand goods operating within North Yorkshire are required to be registered under the North Yorkshire County Council Act with the trading standards service.

"They are also required to keep detailed records about the goods they buy and sell. The individuals concerned in this case are not registered. This constitutes a criminal offence, which will be investigated."

He added: "Our advice to consumers is to turn these people away. Under no circumstances let any stranger into your home and certainly do not discuss with them what valuables you have."

The trading standards team want to hear from anyone who received the flier, and particularly anyone who sold the traders goods. Consumers are asked to call Ruth Taylor on (01609) 768636.