A con man is at large after posing as a trading standards official in a bid to fleece thousands of pounds from victims with scare stories about dangerous chemicals.

A supposed trading standards officer told the 50-year-old man the coating on his home in Sutton needed replacing and he would need to pay £8,000 for the work to be done.

He went to the bank but staff at Lloyds Bank in Sutton High Street felt the large withdrawal was suspect and out of character.

With permission of the customer they contacted the council's genuine trading standards officers and police.

The victim was at home when visited by a man using a fake ID posing to be from trading standards, who told the man his wall covering was dangerous and to wait for a phone call.

In that phone call he was told the work would cost £14,000 but could discount it to £8,000.

He was told to go to the bank the following day and not to speak to police or tell bank staff what the withdrawal was for.

Under the banking protocols scheme, backed by Sutton Council and the police, bank staff should question suspicious transactions. 

Inspector Neil Tyre, who runs the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams in Sutton, said: "The banking protocols are a great example of organisations working together to protect elderly and vulnerable residents in the borough.

"We will respond quickly to such reports and will deal with offenders robustly."

If you receive a call at your door from someone claiming to be a trading standards officer or other employee from the council, you can call 020 8770 5070 to confirm their identity.