CONMEN have forced a homeowner to hand over £200 and police are warning others that they could be at risk.

Yesterday afternoon rogue traders are reported to have targeted a property Queens Drive in Cashes Green, Stroud.

The homeowner was pressured into paying the large sum of money by the cold callers for maintenance work in the garden, with a final figure totalling £200.

Two men, who were described as having Irish accents, were wearing orange hi-visibility jackets and were driving a large van.

Gloucestershire Constabulary and Gloucester Trading Standards say that they regularly receive complaints from people who have had work carried out by rogue traders or cold caller.

Typically a trader will call at the door uninvited offering to carry out work on the house, such as repairs to driveways, guttering or fascia boarding.

They have issued the following advice to help homeowners protect themselves:

Do not agree to have any work done until:

• You have checked the trader's name and address.

• You have been given written notice of a right to cancel.

• You have checked the price by getting other quotes.

• You have a clear agreement on the work to be done and how much it will cost.

Cold callers may also try and sell items door to door. These are often vastly overpriced and can be of extremely poor quality.

Stories of being "just released from prison" or working as part of an initiative are told.

Anyone who is unsure about how to deal with a trader cold-calling at their door can contact the Citizens' Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

If you or another person are in immediate danger or a crime is in progress you should call 999 and report this to the Police who will liaise with Trading Standards where appropriate. In the event of a non-emergency call 101 to speak to the Police.