Police are warning that anyone can become a victim of bogus callers after householders lost more than £420,000 in just six months to doorstep scams.

Between October 2017 and April 2018, 336 victims in Scotland lost a total of £421,766 through doorstep and bogus crime.

Police Scotland this week launched its Shut Out Scammers campaign, raising awareness of offenders who cold-call people at their homes and scam them out of money.

Chief Inspector Brian Shaw, Area Commander for policing in North Ayrshire, joined partners on Monday to launch the local activities in support of the national campaign.

He said: “Doorstep crime can have a devastating impact on victims and it is therefore vital that the everyone works together to help stop members of our community being targeted by those intent on defrauding them of cash or gaining access to their homes.

“Our Shut Out Scammers campaign provides an opportunity to highlight the work police and partners undertake throughout the year to tackle those involved in this type of criminality and to prevent further people from falling victim to scammers.

“There is no specific look to a bogus caller or rogue trader - residents must be alert. If you have any concerns at all, do not allow an individual entry to your home, or provide them with any form of payment and do not hesitate to phone the police on 101 or in an emergency by dialling 999.

“Always ask for ID and only let callers in if they have an appointment and you know they are genuine.”

Scott McKenzie, Senior Manager Protective Services at North Ayrshire Council, said “The council and partners are committed to working together to make the area a safer place and are happy to support campaigns like Shut Out Scammers to help people recognise scams.

“We can all work together to beat the scammers and I would encourage anyone with any concerns to contact our Trading Standards team or Police Scotland."