DOORSTEP criminals are targeting homes around Reading and Woodley, near Wokingham, in what police are calling a 'chimney scam'.

Thames Valley Police have issued an alert to residents to be wary of workmen calling at their home unexpectedly.

The rogue workers claim work needs to be done on the chimney's flashing and beams, offering to do the work for between £10 - £30.

Costs of the work then escalate into hundreds of pounds.

Police were alerted to the scam after bank staff became curious of an elderly resident making three large withdrawals after being driven to the bank by workmen.

The elderly and those who live alone are most at risk of being targeted by these schemes.

If you think a neighbour, friend or relative is having work done and you are concerned that they may be victims of unethical traders please contact either the police on 101 or Trading Standards on 01635 519930