Five Sussex and Surrey men are to appear in court charged with defrauding two elderly Warnham and Henfield residents out of thousands of pounds.
It follows a number of incidents in which locals were approached by men who claimed problems with the water supply and roofing needed fixing at their homes.
The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, follow an investigation by the Major Fraud Unit of Sussex Police.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Thomas Owen, 22, of Lower Green Road, Esher, Surrey, is charged with defrauding the Warnham man out of £2,900, and the Henfield man out of £2,000, during 2011, by falsely claiming that replacement water filters were needed at their addresses.
“Jessie Fuller, 20, of Parsonage Road, Cranleigh, Surrey, is charged with the Warnham and Henfield offences, and with an offence of making off without payment of £30 in 2011.
“Stephen Gasson, 27, of Henson Close, Sompting, West Sussex, is charged with overcharging the Henfield resident during 2011 of £22,500 claiming that roofing repairs were needed at the address.”
He continued: “Cornelius Mitchell, 39, of Osborne Drive, Sompting, is charged with overcharging the Henfield resident of £7,400 during 2011, claiming that roofing repairs were needed at the address.
“Christopher Heron, 23, of Smithwood Avenue, Cranleigh, is charged with the Warnham offence, and also with defrauding the resident of £3600 by claiming to be a police officer, and with defrauding the same man of a substantial quantity of money by falsely claiming that roofing work was needed at the address, all in 2010 and 2011.”
The spokesman added: “Owen, Fuller, Gasson, and Mitchell are due to appear on bail at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday 1 November. Heron first appeared in custody at Crawley Magistrates Court on Wednesday October 24, and was remanded in custody to appear with the other four on November 1.”