Con men duped an elderly man out of his life savings in an elaborate £1.3m fake lottery ticket confidence trick.

The heartless shysters convinced the 69-year-old grandfather from Thornton Heath to part with £20,000.

The men, posing as a fatally ill illegal immigrant and a good samaritan helping him get back to his family, convinced him they had a winning lottery ticket worth £1.3m to sell.

The pair ambushed the grandfather, who wishes to remain anonymous, near his home last Thursday.

One of the con artists pretended to be a seriously ill man from Nepal in possession of the winning ticket, which he claimed he could not cash in because of his immigration status.

The other man, who was Asian, posed as a kind neighbour offering to pay the Nepalese man £40,000 for the ticket so he could return to his family in Nepal.

The victim said: “He offered to split the money with me if I could come up with £20,000.

“He showed me a bag full of money he had on him and told me it was £20,000 in cash.

“The ticket was dodgy but had the real winning numbers on it.

“They pretended to dial the National Lottery and the lady at the other end confirmed the numbers were all correct, offering to send a limousine to pick us up and take us to their offices so we could cash it in.”

The grandfather was convinced to put up the cash for the ticket, getting his wife to help him draw £20,000 from various bank accounts.

Last Thursday at about 3pm, after he had managed to collect the cash, the pair arrived at his home in a black car to cash in the winning ticket.

He said: “The Nepalese man started coughing blood and claimed he was in a lot of pain. I rushed inside to get some paracetamol for him and they drove off with my money.”

The devastated man realised he had been the victim of a con and is hoping to warn others who might be taken in by the fraudsters.

He said: “I never expected to be the victim of a con, but these men were so convincing.

“The Asian man pretended to be a Sikh, a man of God, which made me trust him.

“I thought I was a very careful man and if I had not been greedy then this would not have happened.

“I know there is almost no chance of getting my money back. If this report can save only one other person from this terrible fraud then I will be happy.”

A police spokeswoman said: “We would urge anyone who is approached by a stranger with a money making scheme to be very cautious. If the offer sounds too good to be true the chances are it is.

“This is not believed to be connected to any other incident. There have been no arrests at this stage.”

Police are appealing for information.

Call the Croydon Fraud Team on 020 8649 0146 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.