PEOPLE are being urged to think twice before letting strangers into their homes – or risk inviting fraudsters into their lives.

Trading Standards officers and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau have joined forces to raise awareness of cons for Scams Awareness Month.

Doorstep callers are just one of the threats, and residents are being advised to remember they do not have to answer your door when dealing with unexpected visitors.

Some of the most common scams concern bogus officials attempting to get access to a home and then distracting the homeowner.

Others involve callers offering to do work and pressuring people into agreeing to it.

Other advice includes always asking for identification and, if your are suspicious, look up contact details for the organisation they claim to represent and ask if they are genuine.

The bodies are stressing that if you ask them to go and they refuse, you should call call the police and not to leave strangers unattended in your home.

You should also call a friend or neighbour around for support if you are concerned.

Head of Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service, Eddie Coventry, said: “People who come into someone’s home to scam them are particularly heartless and often have no concern for the distress and upset they leave behind,” he said.

“These people are not your friends and you do not have to let them into your home.”

Anyone who is worried they have been targeted by fraudsters should contact the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 0845 04 05 06.

Suspected scams can also be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.