A vulnerable elderly man was targeted by fraudsters claiming to work for the council to gain access to his home before making-off with cash, police said.

The victim, a Leytonstone man in his 70s, who has physical and mental health issues, was targeted by three fraudsters on Monday, October 21.

The men said they were council workers cleaning the gutters of the house next door and wanted to clean his at the same time.

They insisted he allow them access to his home, and the victim, feeling pressurised, allowed one of the suspects inside briefly before all three left the premises.

The elderly victim later realised the upstairs of his home had been searched and a quantity of cash had been taken.

A relative of the victim said the incident was proof neighbours need to look out for vulnerable people who may be targeted and urged residents to call the police if they noticed suspicious individuals ‘scoping’ homes.

A council spokesperson said: “We are saddened to hear about this horrendous incident involving an elderly and vulnerable resident. Waltham Forest’s Housing Department have organised for the locks to be changed and our officers have been in touch to offer support to the victim.”

All Waltham Forest staff and contractors carry identification.

The spokesperson added: “If you are unsure of who is visiting your home, please ask to show you who they are. Our staff will give you their ID so you can phone our office to confirm their identity.

"Our staff will never try and enter your home or garden without your consent when visiting you and will happily wait while you confirm their credentials.

“We advise residents to never allow anyone into their property without verifiable identification and appropriate reason to be there.”

No arrests have been made.