Police have praised a female resident for refusing to part with cash upfront for work on her driveway when she was visited unexpectedly at her home by a male ‘builder’ on Tuesday, 5 July.

The resident kept the caller outside her address in Warnham Court Road, Carshalton. She became concerned because of the way he was behaving and asking for money. She called police in Sutton on 101.

Sutton Council has a Safer Sutton Trader Scheme which seeks to help residents avoid bogus builders and unscrupulous traders. To find an approved trader please visit the Safer Sutton Trader Scheme or call 020 8770 5070 for details.

Soon after, Safer Neighbourhoods officers contacted the resident and advised her to call police again immediately should the caller return.

The suspect who came to the door is described as a white man, aged young to middle age, with dark hair. He was wearing a red and white T-shirt and blue shorts. He said his name was Patrick.

Another male suspect who stayed behind the steering wheel of a small white van had golden blond hair and was heard to speak in an Irish accent.

Safer Neighbourhoods Sgt Lee Burgess, said: “This resident took all the right steps. Residents need to be wary of builders who turn up asking for cash upfront because they may not return to carry out any work. Police advice is not to let any unknown callers into your home and not to give them any money in advance of any work,” he said.

Police say that whilst the vast majority of building companies will be genuine, they are urging residents who want improvement work carried out on their homes to ask for ID and written quotes as well as to check out any companies and obtain references from previous customers – before agreeing to any work and parting with any money. Most reputable companies will be happy to supply such information.

If you are suspicious of anyone calling at your door, shut the door keeping them outside, and call police on 999. It would be especially helpful if residents could check safely whether the caller has a vehicle in the street and to take the vehicle’s registration number. Police would rather come out and check that everything is OK, than to find someone who has become a victim of crime.