ARMY families have been alerted to a doorstep perfume scam used by thieves to force their way into homes in the North.

An Army Welfare Service newsletter - circulated in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire - reports the robbers pose as salesmen, offering women the opportunity to smell the scent before they decide to buy.

However, if they agree, the spray is directed towards their face and whatever is in the bottle is potent enough to stun or disorientate the victim.

In the confusion, the thieves enter the house to steal whatever they can grab before making their getaway.

An Army spokesman emphasised there had been no incidents in the Catterick area; the scam was brought to the attention of the welfare service by a soldier's wife, who lives in Manchester.

"However, we feel we have a duty of care to the families who live on the garrison and it was considered wise to include a warning in the newsletter just in case," he added.