POLICE are warning people to be on their guard after a string of deception offences across Avon and Somerset.

Officers from the "doorstep crime" team at Bristol are also hoping more victims will come forward to help with their investigation.

During these incidents elderly and vulnerable people have been targeted by rogue traders who have tricked their way into homes.

In another a pensioner had her bank account cleared through a series of fraudulent transactions.

On several occasions' a man has visited houses posing as a window cleaner. After taking money up front he then never returns to complete the work.

On another occasion a male caller stated he was doing building work for a neighbour and needed to check the victim's house for a water leak. He asked for £50 before going downstairs stating he was going to turn the water off. However he then left the premises.

The offender has been described as a white man of stocky build, aged in his early 40's. He had tattoos on both forearms and wore a large wristwatch on his right wrist.

Officers are reminding residents that they should never pay for services in advance unless they are completely satisfied the caller is genuine.

People are advised to obtain references from others, check credentials and never to feel pressurised into entering contracts on their doorsteps. People should always obtain written quotes where possible.

Anyone who has been defrauded or has any information is asked to contact the Doorstep Crime Team at Southmead Police Station on 0845-4567000 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.

You can also call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org which can be accessed by clicking the link in our "related articles" section. They never ask for your name or trace your call.