Police have launched an appeal for information after an 83-year-old woman from Westcliff was conned.

Suspects knocked at a property in Fairfax Drive at around 2pm on August 20, and offered to carry out work to her garden.

They then convinced the victim that they needed to hire a skip and asked her to pay using a remote cash machine.

She entered her PIN number and left the scene with the bank card before later withdrawing a three-figure sum of cash.

The rogue tree surgeons claimed to be working for a company named Willow Tree and Gardening Services – but police believe this to be a fake firm.

They also attempted other larger transactions.

Investigating officer DC Iain White, of Southend CID, said: “The suspects claimed to be working on behalf of a company called Willow Tree and Gardening Services but we believe this to be a bogus company.

“They have then distracted an elderly member of our community by claiming to have a remote banking machine.

“We believe that this allowed the suspects to gain access to her PIN number and access to her cash.

“We would urge anyone who has information or has been approached by these people about services to contact Southend CID on 101 quoting 42/120593/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Alternatively, to report information anonymously online, visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/

For more information or advice about bogus callers, visit https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/bogus-callers/.