BOGUS workmen are using false ID cards to trick their way into the homes of Southampton pensioners and steal their savings.

Police today warned elderly people to be on their guard after a block of sheltered flats in Bitterne were targeted by conmen.

Among victims was an 83-year-old disabled man who allowed two men inside to check his pipes. After flashing a fake identity card, the pair split up, supposedly to check the water, claiming there was air in the pipes. But as the pensioner sat in his wheelchair, one of the men took £40 from a living room drawer.

Another pensioner at Stuart Bridgewater House in Pound Street had received a knock at the door from an Irishman who claimed to be working at the premises.

The man said he had wanted to warn residents about possible noise from downstairs. Around an hour later, a neighbouring flat belonging to a 76-year-old woman was burgled and purses containing around £60 stolen.

Police said both conmen are white and of medium build. The man with the Irish accent is described as aged 20 to 25, 5ft 8in, with short black curly hair and pointed features.

Pc Dave Bowen, of Bitterne CID, said: "We would urge elderly people not to allow anyone inside their homes without an appointment, even if an ID card is shown. Anyone with concerns should keep the safety chain on and call the police."

The incidents, which happened 6.30-7.30pm on Monday, are not being linked with a break-in at Lordshill where an 87-year-old woman had hundreds of pounds stolen as she sat in her wheelchair.