A pensioner was duped out of £1200 after being tricked into believing she was part of a police sting.

The 85-year-old woman from Brighton was targeted twice in two days by heartless crooks who took hundreds of pounds from her on both occasions.

The con was only revealed when relatives of the woman became suspicious about what their elderly family member was telling them.

The elderly woman was phoned around midday on Monday by a company claiming to be dealing with a damp problem next door to her Beaconsfield Road home.

She was told she needed to pay £600 for a dehumidifier which would be delivered later on in the week and that someone would come round to collect the money a little later.

A man then came to her door at around 1pm to pick up the cash.

The next day she was phoned again by a man telling her he was a police officer and that she needed to give £600 to a man who would be coming to her address.

He told her police would be at the end of the street to arrest this man.

When the man arrived, she again handed over the money.

The victim has described two different men involved in the con to police.

The first man who came to collect money for the dehumidifier on Monday is described as white, around 6' and 30-years-old with dark hair and a beard and was wearing jeans, a light green shirt and a casual jacket at the time.

The second man in the police sting arriving on Tuesday is described as white, slim and 5' 6" with ginger hair and beard.

Detective Sergeant Simon Dunn said: "This elderly woman is extremely vulnerable and confused by what has happened.

"This type of fraud, where people pretend to be police officers, has become more common in the last year, and we are asking people to remain vigilant against being convinced by these criminals.

“Police officers would never ask anyone to hand over money.”

Sussex Police are advising residents that if they receive an unexpected call from someone, people should always check where they are calling from and take a contact number and return their call only after doing checks to verify their claims.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting 1112 of 23/9.