Police are investigating two incidents in which senior citizens were conned out of several thousand rand on Wednesday 10 October.It is alleged that the perpetrator – described as a neatly dressed middle-aged woman seeking sympathy – targets vulnerable senior citizens to elicit a considerable amount of money from them.“She poses as a grieving daughter unable to bury her mother that has just passed on. The story is so believable that the vulnerable senior citizens feel compelled and are bound by a moral duty to assist this woman. By the time they assist the woman in good faith, handing over their total savings and last of their pension, they realise that they have been conned; it’s too late and the woman is gone with their savings,” says Manenberg police spokesperson, Captain Ian Bennet.At this stage, it is believed that she has been working in the Manenberg and Mitchell’s Plain areas.“It is unfortunate that criminals prey on the goodness of the vulnerable, destroying the sentiments of helping, assisting and Ubuntu. Encouraging helping hands is the greatest gift of alleviating poverty but criminal actions like this prevent the community from showing goodness,” says Bennet.Residents are warned to verify circumstances before assisting those who come to their doorstep. “Even if someone approaches you saying a pastor, imam or priest sent them, take a moment to ask questions and to verify the request. If you can’t verify the request, don’t allow yourself to be pressurised. Tell them to come back or call the police,” says Bennet.Residents are further warned not to be emotionally drawn into handing over money. V Anyone with information regarding similar incidents can call their nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.