COUNCIL bosses are warning islanders to be on their guard after reports of bogus workmen targeting vulnerable people on Cumbrae.

A resident told a recent community council meeting how she had witnessed suspicious workmen approach an elderly resident asking to clear their homes' guttering.

Kirsten Paterson says she was became suspicious after noticing the 'tradesmen' had no tools with them.

Trading Standards have now issued a warning to put people on alert to any possible cons.

Kirsten said: "There have been two men going round the island offering to clean people's guttering.

"I had never seen them before and I know that they have went to an elderly neighbour's doors and offered to carry out work.

"They had no tools with them and no van, which I thought were both a bit suspicious.

"They also seemed a bit put off when they had went to approach another door and saw me standing in the garden watching what they were up to.

"I think it is important to remind people to be wise for anyone going round doors. Some people may not be aware of the dangers these people can pose.

"We have a lot of services on the island which are trusted and reliable."

Community councillor Sharon Hagan said islanders have previously been targeted by scam artists.

She told the News: "This isn't the first time people have come over to the island and pretended to be proper tradesmen.

"They can look very legit and people need to know who they are dealing with before agreeing to any work or handing over any cash.

"People shouldn't be going round elderly residents' doors touting for work.

"I am sure this isn't just happening here and is likely happening on the mainland, but we just want to make sure people know to look out for it."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: "We would urge residents to remain vigilant.

"If your door is knocked, and you are suspicious, don’t just allow them to move next door to a vulnerable neighbour, give Trading Standards a call and a give them a chance to catch these criminals.

"If you can provide a description of the person and their vehicle, it will help our officers."

Trading Standards can be contacted at 01294 310101.