A fraudster in Merton has been conning disabled people out of money.

The council has warned blue badge holders to watch out for a scam that sees a person pretending to be a council parking attendant.

Merton Council’s parking and community safety teams say they’ve had reports of a man, dressed like a  parking warden, approaching blue badge holders.

He tells them there is a new council policy to register their vehicle at a parking machine.

After this lie, the driver is told to put their card into the machine and enter their PIN in front of the thief.

He then says the card has been swallowed and encourages the victim to leave – leaving him in possession of both the card and its PIN.

This has led to one victim having £3,000 stolen from their bank account.

The council’s cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Edith Macauley, said: “I would like to reassure our residents and all blue badge holders that we are doing everything we can to stop this person.

“Merton Council would like to confirm that there have been no new changes made to the Blue Badge policy.

“Along with our neighbouring boroughs, all parking enforcement officers will be keeping a close eye out for this man, and we have alerted the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams so that the police can help us track him down.

“In the meantime, I would urge everyone to stay alert to suspicious activity. Never enter your PIN into any cash or payment machine in view of anyone else, and be aware that once you have entered your PIN, it is not possible for the machine to ‘swallow’ your card. If you are concerned you have been conned, contact your bank immediately so that your card can be cancelled.”