A scam where bank cards are stolen from kindhearted people as they give directions is operating across Northamptonshire, a victim has warned.
Disabled pensioner Susan Fuins said her cards were taken while she was in the car park of the Aldi supermarket in Old Greens Norton Road, Towcester.
She had got out of her car to give directions to a “well-dressed man” and had her back turned to her vehicle while they both consulted a map.
But the 64-year-old believes her bank cards were removed from her handbag, which was on a front seat of her car, while she was talking.
She said: “I’m angry. I was only being nice and helping him and he took advantage.”
Mrs Fuins only learned of the theft when a police officer called her to say her bank cards had been confiscated at a supermarket in Northampton after staff became suspicious of the person using them.
By that time the thieves had bought goods and taken out cash totalling about £500. Mrs Fuins believes that someone had watched her enter her PIN number before tipping off the thieves.
The police officer said a similar crime had happened at Waitrose in Towcester.
Several other people have claimed on Mrs Fuin’s Facebook site that similar thefts have happened in Wellingborough and Northampton.
Northamptonshire Police have said five similar incident have been reported since May in supermarket car parks in Northampton, Daventry, Towcester and Wellingborough.
A police spokeswoman said: “In all of these incidents, the victim has been approached by someone, speaking in broken English, who has asked for directions and, on some occasions, then produced a map which they have unfolded on another car.
“Some of the victims have then got out of their car to help give directions.
“Whilst they are distracted, a second person has removed bank cards, cash, purses or bags from the boot or passenger seat of the victim’s car.
“In many of the incidents, the victim has not realised they have been a victim of crime until they have returned home or the offenders have attempted to use the stolen cards.”