A suspected thief asked a woman for directions and then stole her credit cards at a Saltney supermarket.
Cash was then nicked from her account after the incident at the Asda in River Lane at about 3.30pm on November 27.
A man approached the victim while she was loading shopping into her car.
It is believed he took two credit cards while the woman was giving directions and cash was later stolen using one of the cards.
Chester Local Policing Unit PC Darren Franks said: “I’d like to ask anyone who was in the area at the time and believe they may have any information to come forward.
“I’d also like to remind people out shopping over the Christmas period to remain extra vigilant.”
The man is described as approximately 50 years old, 5ft 5in tall, chubby build and of eastern European origin.
Chief Inspector Paul Williams said: “The offenders are noting PIN numbers when the victims make a purchase at the till and when they are distracted take the opportunity to steal their purse.
“Cards are used before the victim realises their purse is missing and money has gone from their account.”
High visibility police patrols will be in Chester city centre over the festive period under Operation Centurion.
Anyone with information should contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 1033 of 27/11/2015.
Details can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.