SUMMER is almost here and people’s minds turn to sprucing up the outside of homes.

Unfortunately, a downside to this time of year is the usual soulless batch of low-life who go around trying to fleece residents.

Sadly, each year we run stories about how groups turn up on someone’s doorstep with the promise of good work at low prices.

We’ve had horrible stories about scammers escorting vulnerable residents to banks and getting them to withdraw large lumps of cash before disappearing. Or starting work then slipping into homes and stealing from inside.

These scumbags usually prey on the elderly and vulnerable. But every resident is at risk.

Fair play to Thurrock Council’s trading standards officers for trying to get ahead of the game and highlighting the issue.

They have this week issued a warning after already reporting an increase in cold callers targeting homes and offering to do what turns out to be shoddy work, if any “work” at all.

Trading Standards advice is never to agree to cold-callers carrying out any repairs on a property - at all. This is the right advice.

Also if you’ve got elderly or vulnerable neighbours it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for them. Anything people within a community can do to help make these stories a thing of the past is very welcome.