A swindler in Paris's wealthy western suburbs targetted wealthy grannies, using the phone book to spot potential victims with old-fashioned names.
The 73-year-old crook deceived dozens of elderly women. He singled out pensioners by spotting their old-fashioned names in the phone book, French daily Le Parisien reports.
The crook disguised himself as a bank employee and told victims they needed to change their credit card because it was broken.
He then asked his victims to fill their bank details, including their PIN code, on a fake bank form. He instructed victims to return their credit card to the bank in a special envelope. But before slipping the credit card in the envelope he would exchange it for a fake one. Each time the crook would steal €300 to €500 from his victim.
The conman was rumbled when one of his victims, an 84-year-old woman from La Garenne-Colombes, west of Paris, failed to write her secret code on the fake form. When he then phoned her at home she became suspicious and contacted the police..
Following a police investigation the phone calls made by the swindler were tracked down to Asnieres, a town in the outskirts of Paris and the suspected culprit was arrested.