A WIDOW had a handbag containing a purse, £40 and two commemorative £5 coins cruelly stolen from her living room by a woman posing as a social worker.
The 68-year-old pensioner, who does not wish to be named, is unable to go out alone after suffering a stroke 10 years ago and relies on twice-weekly visits from Social Services.
She has spoken of her anger at the incident, telling how the bogus caller knocked on the front door of her home in Moorhouse Avenue, Accrington, and introduced herself as "Elizabeth Holgate" from Social Services.
She said that a colleague had left a mobile phone at the house and then flashed an identity card before entering the property. She stayed for just over an hour.
The woman said: "I heard a knock at the door and thought it was my friend, I unlocked it and she had an ID card and so I, like a stupid idiot, said: 'Come in'. Everything she said was so plausible but I am just annoyed that at my age I could be taken in.
"She talked about staffing problems at Social Services and asked about a lady over the road who she said she used to see.
"Every question you asked her she had an answer. She had done her homework and she was so well turned out. She even said she had taken me shopping to Asda in the past.
"We were chatting away and she said her eldest son was over in Iraq. She was waffling on about her family and said that her father had worked in the mines.
"I am a very honest person and I treat people with respect. I expect other people to do the same.
"When she was going she said to take down her name and telephone number, so I went into the living room to get a notepad and she followed me. My purse was in the living room.
"I am normally quite a sensible person. I always have the front door locked."
She added she did not realise she had been duped until a few days later, when she mentioned the visit to her usual social worker, who phoned up the office and confirmed they had not sent anyone out to the address on that date.
The woman is described as about 40 years old and was wearing a black skirt, black cardigan and white blouse.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Scott McDonough of Accrington Police on 382141.