An elderly Brighton man was tricked out of £12,500 by a conman who posed as a plumber.
The 85-year-old first handed over £2,500 in cash after the man knocked on his door in Islingworth Road at about 10am on Saturday
The fraudster told him the house next door required emergency plumbing work to unblock the drains, and that the drains ran under his house.
He told the victim that he needed to give him £2,500 to get a specialist plumbing company to finish the work, and that his victim would get all the money back after the work was complete.
He later persuaded his victim to hand over another £10,000.
The conman did not claim to be from the council or any other particular organisation.
Police are linking the incident to a similar one in Bramber at the beginning of the month, in which a similar method was used.
DC Scott Elmer, from Brighton CID, said: “I would like to remind people to be extra vigilant when dealing with any type of cold-callers.
“These criminals prey on the elderly, and people should make an extra effort to bring this kind of incident to the attention of their elderly relatives so they can be on their guard.”
Police would like to speak to a white man, 5′ 9″, around 35, well built, with tidy fair hair and wearing a jumper and jeans.
Anyone who has has any information or witnessed anything in the area at the time of the offence is asked to contact police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 1466 of 27/03 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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