A NUMBER of Vale residents have been contacted by scammers pretending to be from Environmental Health or Welsh Water.

These scammers are telling people they have a rat problem in their home and are asking the residents for money to eliminate the problem - which does not exist.

This is a particularly active time of year for rogue traders and scammers.

Residents may also be told that work needs doing to their home or garden or the caller may pretend to be from the council or other official body.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is asking for people to spread the word to family and friends and to ask them to turn away doorstep callers or to hang up the phone if they are made to feel under pressure in any way.

The council is asking people to remember to:

• be cautious when answering a knock at your door or a telephone call.

• do not give them any personal information e.g bank details, passwords or PIN numbers.

• don't reply, download attachments or click on links in suspicious emails.

• if you are concerned, do not let strangers into your house.

Be careful if something:

• comes out of the blue or from someone you don’t know.

• sounds too good to be true e.g. You’ve won the lottery.

• asks you to pay for something in advance - especially by bank transfer.

• asks you for personal information - like your bank details, computer passwords or PIN numbers.

• pressures you into buying something or making a decision quickly - a trustworthy company will be happy to wait.

• asks you to phone an expensive number - these start with 070, 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098.

You can report scams to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or South Wales Police on 101.