West Midlands Police work closely with Trading Standards to help to protect the public and honest businesses from rogue traders and illegal practices.
Bogus 'officials' may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, gas board, health authority or other organisation.
Bogus 'dealers' may offer to buy your antiques, furniture or jewellery, at what seems to be a good price.
If you want to sell something, choose one or two genuine dealers to value it or ask a friend or relative for their advice.
Bogus 'workmen' may say that they need to come in to check something or make urgent repairs. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or tarmac your drive. Often they'll ask for money in advance; they may even offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money to pay them.
If you need any building work done, get several written quotes from reputable firms, then decide which one is best. If in doubt, talk it through with a neighbour or someone in your family.
Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on.