TWO women have been scammed out of hundreds of pounds following an incident in Basingstoke town centre.

Police received two separate reports today (November 12) from woman who had been conned out of money while in town.

The first incident happened around 10.20am when a 63-year-old woman was in the Jacobs Yard carpark.

She went to the ticket machine and began to pay for a ticket using coins when a man approached her and told her that the machine was faulty and she would need to pay with a card.

He then offered to help her pay with the card. Once the woman had put her card into the machine the man removed the card, without her noticing, and then watched her enter her PIN.

The man then made excuses about the machine swallowing the victims card, and said he would contact an engineer. Whilst the woman waited for the engineer the offender went to a local shop and withdrew £500 from her bank account.

The second incident happened at around 11am when a 75-year-old woman was in the Red Lion carpark. She was approached by a man matching the same description, and was conned out of her debit card and PIN in the same way. The man then withdrew £300.

The man police want to speak to is described as: black, aged 30 to 40, 5ft 4ins and of average build.

He was wearing a dark coloured flat cap with a logo or small broach on the side, glasses, a dark coloured scarf which he used to cover the lower half of his face, and a dark coloured coat.

PC Kerry Lawrence, from Hampshire Constabulary said: “These women thought they had been approached by a kind man who was offering to help them.

“In reality, this man had deliberately targetted the two lone women to take advantage of their trust and steal hundreds of pounds from them.

“Not only have they now lost these large sums of money, they have been left distressed and shaken by what has happened to them.

“I am urging members of the community to be vigilant, and to pass this information onto to family and friends. As you would always be vigilant when using an ATM, please keep this in mind when using your card at parking machines.

“When using these machines, the card is not completely taken by the machine and caution should be taken if the card seems to disappear, particularly if you are being distracted or engaged in conversation by someone else.

“The PIN number entry needs to be carried out with caution ensuring that no one can see the number you’re entering.”

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact the police on 101 quoting 44190406400.