Detectives at Hampshire are urging residents to be wary of strangers who trick their way into homes with tales of woe.

The warning comes after an elderly woman, 87, was tricked into giving £40 to a man who claimed he had locked himself out of a house across the road.

The man called between 1.50 -2.30pm Thursday, November 22, at a property in Henley Road, Southsea.

He told the woman he had been working at an address and asked to ring his girlfriend to bring a spare set of keys.

When that could not be arranged, he asked to ring a taxi and asked to “borrow” the £40 fare to Eastleigh. The woman left the man alone downstairs while she went to get the money. When the man left, he walked in the opposite direction from taxis and took the money.

The man is described as white, aged 20 to early thirties, very slim and 5ft 8-9ins tall. He had untidy dark brown hair, about three to four inches long on top, and was unshaven. He wore jeans.

Fratton Detective Constable Stephen Ryan appealed for anyone who saw a man of this description or any other suspicious activity in the area of Henley Road on the afternoon of the offence to contact police.

DC Ryan also reminded residents always to ask for identification from callers. “If there is any doubt, contact the police immediately after locking them out of the property,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Ryan at Fratton on 101.