A CON man posing as a meter reader called at the home of a Widnes resident.

The man in his 20s claimed to be reading their smart meter for Economy Energy.

The resident asked the man for ID. When the door step caller started getting annoyed, the resident rang Economy Energy to check the callers details.

They confirmed that they hadn’t sent anyone out to read their smart meter. The caller then fled when the resident questioned him further.

Halton Council trading standards officers are now warning out for people to be vigilant.

Halton Cllr Dave Cargill, board member for Trading Standards, said: "Energy company staff will all have ID badges. If you receive a visit from a door step caller claiming to be from your energy company, ask to see their ID before letting them in.

"If they can’t show their ID card, refuse to let them in. If you are suspicious or are not expecting a visit, contact your energy company. If they haven’t sent anyone out, report the incident to Cheshire Police on 101."

Halton Council provides no cold calling cards free of charge. They can be picked up from any Halton Direct Link Office.

Anyone has been caught out by a fraud can call the council's specialist officers on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775.

They are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.