Householders have been urged to report any concerns if they are visited by a sales team claiming to be part of a young offenders’ scheme.
Durham Constabulary has issued advice after a number of reports from people living in West Rainton and the Durham area.
A spokesman said: “We have received a number of calls from concerned members of the public reporting that young men have knocked at their doors offering dusters and other household items for sale.
“The men, described as in their late teens or early 20s, are claiming to be members of a young offenders’ back-to-work scheme.
“Residents have reported that the sellers made them feel under pressure to buy their wares.
“These people are not endorsed by the probation or youth offending services and the public should not feel obliged to purchase items from them in the mistaken belief that they are.”
It has advised anyone with concerns about suspicious behaviour in the area to contact police on 101.