A TATTOOED scammer who stood outside a couple’s house to steal their post attempted to take out a £15,000 loan.

The woman, who is yet to be identified, was pretending to be Richard and Emma Bower’s lodger.

She took their post directly from the postman in Stapley Road, Hove for a number of days.

The fraudster then used their details to set up two bank accounts and tried to take out a £15,000 loan.

Mrs Bower, 37, said: “I just can’t believe how bold this woman has been.

“It’s made us feel like the criminals and we’re worried what might happen.

“I had previously seen the woman loitering, talking to the postman and taking post just metres from my doorstep.

“But when I finally challenged her, she ran off like a deer in the headlights.”

The couple were first concerned when a card machine turned up in the post.

It was from a bank they do not have an account with.

They contacted police, Royal Mail and Barclays.

The woman was finally rumbled on Monday when she was spotted taking the post from a postman’s hands.

She was then challenged by Mrs Bower and ran off.

But the next day a man turned up to the house claiming to the postman he was Mr Bower.

But he left empty-handed.

Mr Bower, 37, said: “I feel like you can’t trust anyone anymore.

“These people will go and do this again as there’s no deterrent.”

The scammer is described as of mixed race with a tattooed neck.

Royal Mail is now reminding staff of the procedures when delivering mail.

A spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to the customers affected by this incident.

“Our security team is in touch with them to investigate further.

“We have reminded our postmen and women of the proper procedures when delivering mail.”

“The safety and security of the mail is of paramount importance to Royal Mail.

“We deliver millions of items safely every day and the theft of mail is very rare.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police are investigating a report of mail being stolen from a residential address in Hove.

“Enquiries are currently ongoing.

“Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 717 of 08/10.

“For advice and support on fraud or theft, please go to sussex.police.uk/ask-the-police/fraud.”