Ayrshire residents lost more than £100,000 to rogue traders in just six months, new figures from consumer watchdogs have revealed.

Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) has urged vigilance amid a surge in doorstep scams, mis-sold services, and botched household repairs.

The organisation is running a nationwide 'Shut out Scammers' campaign with Police Scotland designed to raise awareness about the risks of accepting work offered by cold callers.

Figures from TSS show that between December last year and May this year, a total of £101,910 was lost by 23 households in North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire.

In one particularly shocking case, a pensioner from East Ayrshire lost £31,000 to traders who carried out shoddy roofing work.

The average amount lost over the six-month period was £4,431.

In each case, rogue traders cold called the occupiers and offered to carry out work related to roofing, gardening, driveways, or general maintenance.

They charged upfront before either leaving without completing the work, or not starting at all.

Ayrshire Today: The anti-scam van is touring Ayrshire

In another case, a woman in North Ayrshire agreed to have her driveway resurfaced for £1,000 by traders who claimed to be working on behalf of the local council.

After they demanded £4,500 from her, claiming this was to cover the cost of extra materials, she contacted the council to complain – only to be told that they did not recognise the company.

And a couple in East Ayrshire were conned out of £1,000 by a company claiming that they were carrying out roofing work on behalf of the council.

The traders claimed that the local authority was planning improvements to council houses in the area and were offering discounts to homeowners.

The couple were quoted £4,500 for the roofing work and paid a £1,000 deposit.

However, the traders never returned, and when they contacted the council to ask when the work would begin, they were told it had no relationship with the firm.

Ayrshire Today: Cllr Maureen ChalmersCllr Maureen Chalmers (Image: Trading Standards Scotland)

Councillor Maureen Chalmers, chair of Trading Standards Scotland’s governance board, said: “Scammers are constantly adapting their tactics to take advantage of people, especially when many households across Ayrshire are struggling to make ends meet with the cost-of-living crisis.

“So, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant and be on your guard. "

As part of the campaign, a scam awareness van has been visiting different parts of Ayrshire.

Police and trading standards officers were on hand to provide advice on avoiding doorstep scams, along with resources such as ‘no cold calling’ stickers and information leaflets.

Experts said fraudsters were making bogus claims to be working on behalf of the government with fake subsidy offers, or with local councils.

Criminals often employ online and social media ads featuring misleading information and reviews.

TSS said if someone claims to be working for or with a local council, householders should ask them to wait outside and close the door while they call the council to verify their identity.

Customers should also check at least three different review sites and obtain more than one quote for a piece of work.

Consumers are advised against dealing with cold callers and encouraged to seek reputable local traders, with vetted options available on the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) approved trader portal at www.approvedtrader.scot.

Anyone caught out by a scam or suspicious activity should report it using the national advice service Advice Direct Scotland’s tool at www.consumeradvice.scot or contact 0808 164 6000 for support.

Victims of fraud should report it to Police Scotland on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

TSS is also urging people to check in with their older relatives to ensure that that they are aware of these scams.