Two conmen targeted an elderly woman in Hove, stealing money while she was distracted.
One of the pair called at the woman’s home in Clarendon Villas, Hove, at abut 1.30pm on Friday (14 January).
Sussex Police said that the man claimed to be working on the central heating in the flat above and needed to come in and check the taps were working.
The victim used her security chain and asked for ID but did not have her glasses on and could not properly read the ID provided.
The victim called police after noticing money was missing.
PC Jessica Sutton said: “The suspect was never left alone by the victim, suggesting the suspect had an accomplice.
“The victim followed our advice to use a chain and asked for ID, but didn’t check the ID was genuine.
“I’d like to remind people to ‘stop, chain and check’ when a stranger knocks on your door.”
The suspect is described as white, 5ft 5in tall, of skinny build, with short brown hair and wearing a dark suit.
Police are conducting house-to-house inquiries and speaking to local residents.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 6070999 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.