A £100,000 painting has been stolen from the home of an 89-year-old woman who was fooled by a fraud scam, Scotland Yard said.
Detectives are appealing for help to recover the haul, taken from an address in South Kensington, London, on January 18. It included The Comet of 1858 by Samuel Palmer, plus jewellery and bank cards.
The woman was telephoned by someone claiming that her bank cards had been used in a crime and that she needed to contact her bank. She immediately attempted to call the bank but the caller had not hung up and stayed on the line.
The victim believed she was speaking to her bank, but in fact it was still the original caller who told her that someone would attend her address and collect her cards. They also asked if she had anything of value in the house and the victim mentioned the painting, Scotland Yard said.
A man, believed aged in his 30s, around 5ft 10ins with dark hair and an English accent, later came to her home and stole the items.
In an attempt to stop people falling into the same trap, the Metroplitan Police said: "Neither your bank nor the police would ever ring you and state that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.
"Your bank will never ask you to authorise anything by entering your pin into the telephone handset.
"Never share your pin with anyone - the only times you should use your pin is at a cash machine or when you use a chip and pin machine in a shop/restaurant.
"If you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam of this nature report the crime to your local police."