A BOGUS caller duped a pensioner into handing over more than £100 for work he didn't even start.

Police received a report that a man had committed the fraud after going door to door in the Dorset Avenue area, of Birtley, last Tuesday.

The man– said to be white, in his 40s and with a Scottish accent– knocked on the door of one vulnerable pensioner at about 12pm and asked if they needed any guttering done. He offered to do the work for £160 but when the woman said it was too expensive he lowered the price to £110 but demanded the cash up-front. He took the money and said he would return with his tools, but never went back to the address and a relative of the woman later contacted police.

Officers have not received any other reports of similar incidents but they urged members of the public to check in on vulnerable family members.

PC Jenna Warne, of the Gateshead Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "This man has clearly targeted an elderly resident to dupe her into handing over money for work he never intended to complete.

"She is now out of pocket and it is likely that this man has targeted other vulnerable residents in the Birtley area and perhaps even further afield.

"Residents need to remain vigilant and we would ask members of the public to check in on elderly and vulnerable relatives or neighbours to see if they have had a similar visit.

"Enquiries to identify the man in this particular incident are ongoing and if anyone has information that may assist police then we would ask you to get in touch.

"If you live in the area and have any CCTV then we would ask you to check the cameras to see if they have captured a man fitting the suspect's description last Tuesday."

The man is described as white, aged in his late 40s, about 5ft 5in tall, of medium to stocky build, with thinning hair that was brushed back and a short beard. He had a Scottish accent, was wearing a yellow hi-vis jacket and black trousers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Northumbria police on 101 quoting log 467 12/04/19, email 52@northumbria.pnn.police.uk or go to northumbria.police.uk