VULNERABLE South Cumbrian residents are being targeted by distraction burglars, police have warned.

Burglars pressure the person to allow them access inside, where they will proceed to steal cash or valuables.

Police said they will often act as a group of salesmen, showing a piece of card which is often laminated intending the occupant to believe it is a pedlars certificate.

They will then attempt to sell kitchen type goods such as dusters, cloths, brushes  and will often become aggressive if no sale is made, officials added.

Once gaining entry into the homes of their victims the salesmen will distract the homeowner whilst their colleague searches for and steals items lying around, a police statement continued.

Sergeant Mike Dodd, Kendal Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “These criminals prey on the most vulnerable people in society. They use high pressure techniques to gain entry to their homes, conning them into undertaking work that is not necessary or required.

“We do want to stress that not all cold callers are criminals. Those who are there for legitimate purposes will be willing to show you identification, provide you with contact details of their business and should not pressurise you into trying to get into your home.

“Speak to friends and family about reputable companies, they will be able to advise on who they would recommend.

“Our aim is to help protect vulnerable members of our communities and ensure that they have the confidence to say no and shut the door. I’d also ask that members of the public look out for vulnerable members of the community and report any suspicious activity. Following this Police can then be deployed to the area where the salesmen’s identities and authenticities can be verified.”

If you wish to make a complaint about a trader or report illegal doorstep activities please report the matter to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or call the Police on 101.

Anyone who notices anything suspicious is asked to contact Police on 101.