Neighbourhood Watch has warned people living in Cardiff about rogue traders who disguise themselves as workmen.
They then charge people hundreds of pounds and sometimes run off with the money without even starting the work.
In some cases the fraudsters have accompanied people to the bank to withdraw thousands of pounds to pay for the non-existent work.
Bill Farnham, the Chairman of West Cardiff Neighbourhood Watch, described the fake workmen as the ‘lowest of the low’ and said:
“With these people they will take advantage of anybody, if they can see a little chink in your armour, they will exploit it”
He says one of the most common scams is the fake workmen telling people there is something wrong with their roof.
One woman who was scammed told Mr Farnham she handed over £600 to the workers to buy equipment but never saw them again.
Mr Farnham says people should be very wary of unfamiliar traders, ask for identity and if in doubt tell them to go away.
South Wales Police Community Safety officers have been called out to hundreds of people who have been targeted by the fake workmen and say the incidents happen regularly.