A HAMPSHIRE council has warned Winchester residents to beware ‘bogus binmen’ asking for cash.

It follows reports some residents have been approached by strangers claiming to be dustmen and asking for Christmas tips.

They have been seen wearing hi-vis vests claiming to work for waste contractors Biffa, which collects refuse on behalf of Winchester and East Hampshire councils.

Refuse collectors across both districts are forbidden from approaching residents to ask for any cash or gifts, or else face disciplinary action including dismissal.

Hilary Ayer, portfolio holder for environment and neighbourhood quality at Havant Borough Council, said: “Nothing is more intimidating than someone knocking at your door asking for money. This is especially disconcerting when it happens at night.

“It is very doubtful that whoever is making these approaches is a genuine refuse collector and much more likely that he is an opportunist hoping to cash in on residents' generosity.”

Residents who are asked for money by supposed refuse collectors are urged to call the police on 101.