Bogus workmen targeting pensioners in Kinross were scared off by their video doorbells.
Police Scotland had urged locals to fit the devices at their front doors, allowing them to see and record whoever comes calling, after earlier concerns about rogue traders and doorstep conmen operating in the area.
Officers are now investigating reports that two men were offering bargain price building services to elderly residents in the town’s Devonvale Place and Sandport Gait.
However, they took to their heels when they noticed they were being filmed.
Local people have now been warned to be extra-vigilant about tradesmen who “suddenly appear” after extreme weather like the recent storms and floods.
The properties in Kinross were targeted last week. If they had not taken fright, police believe residents may have been left out of pocket for shoddy or unfinished work.
A force spokesman said: “Before any money changed hands, or work took place, the men left when they became aware that the residents had video doorbells fitted.
“These were fitted as a result of crime prevention advice that had been distributed after previous incidents in the area.”
Police are keen to hear from other residents who have been potentially targeted by doorstep crooks.
There were similar reports of a man offering trade on doorsteps in Milnathort on Friday.
Kinross councillor Willie Robertson said: “Unfortunately this is a common problem everywhere, which thankfully most people are aware of.
“There have been reports of bogus workmen in the Kinross-shire area and people need to be vigilant.
“I would especially ask that people keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, and if they have any suspicions about such activity to intervene.”
The Liberal Democrat councillor added: “It is a sad reflection on our society that there is a tiny minority of individuals out there who look to take advantage of our vulnerable citizens.”
Last year, a 70-year-old pensioner in Perth lost a five-figure sum of money to a rogue tradesman posing ask a Sky engineer.
Police Scotland has issued advice to people in the Kinross area following the latest incidents.
“Do not feel pressurised into agreeing immediate work,” a spokesman said. “Never listen to scare stories, and beware of traders who suddenly appear after storms, floods and even snow.
“Also, avoid claims that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.”
He urged locals to report such incidents. “Don’t ever feel embarrassed if you feel you have been the victim of doorstep crime,” he said.