Doreen Jones was targeted as she went to withdraw her pension at an ATM as part of her usual Monday morning routine in Blackheath.
But while at the cash machine, a young woman approached the twice-widowed pensioner holding a piece of paper and making gestures towards her mouth.
Doreen told the woman to leave, but she barged in front of the pensioner trying to steal her bank card.
Watch the Crimewatch video here:
To the surprise of the mugger, Doreen managed to snatch her bank card back before grabbing the suspect by the hair and collar, forcing her to scream and flee the scene empty-handed.
Video footage of the incident, which happened outside Lloyds Bank on High Street on May 20, has only just been released through BBC's Crimewatch programme.
Speaking to Crimewatch, Doreen said: "She was not expecting me I tell you – she was expecting someone more vulnerable.
"And they picked the wrong one when they picked Doreen.
"I thought no you are not having my money – I have worked hard for this.
"She just targeted an elderly lady with a stick who she thought was very vulnerable – but she thought wrong."
Doreen said: "I call my pension my wages because I work for them. I go up every Monday to the ATM and take so much cash out of the bank that I need for the week.
"Everything was fine as usual, it was a nice sunny day. When I got to the ATM there was just me there. A few minutes after I got there, I felt this tap on my left shoulder and I looked around and it was this young girl.
"She had got a piece of paper in her hand and she just kept tapping it – and I said 'will you please just go away'.
"I grabbed my card back first put it in one hand, and I grabbed her. I got her hair, as well as her collar.
"She started screaming – I don't know why she was screaming, it was me who ought to be screaming and crying.
"Once I let go of her she ran off straight away, around the corner."
Paramedics were called when Doreen started to have problems with her breathing and collapsed after the effort of fighting off the mugger.
Since the incident Doreen, who had previously worked in the car industry as a welder before retiring, has suffered two heart attacks which she believes is down to the incident.
She has since suffered with anxiety about visiting the High Street.
Doreen said: "Paramedics stayed with me for an hour afterwards because of my heart racing, it was up and down all the while.
"It [the heart attacks] was all, I believe, through the mugging in May. They just think of what they are going to get, they don't think of what it does to the person after.
"I have never been anxious about going up the High Street, which I am now. I did go out but I was anxious all the while I was out and I was looking behind me in case anyone was following me."
Speaking after the reconstruction Crimewatch appeal, PSI Peter Rawlings of West Midlands Police urged anyone who recognised the woman or knew he she was to contact them.
He said: "That suspect might have been pregnant at the time, so she may now be heavily pregnant or may have recently had a child.
"We can see that she was watching Doreen before this happened and she may have targeted Doreen because she was elderly and used a stick.
"Doreen is a tough lady and the suspect picked the wrong pensioner. But it has had an effect on Doreen.
"If you know who this woman is or where she is from, let us know. She may do this again – if you see her acting suspiciously by a cash machine report her to the relevant authorities."
Anyone with information about the incident can call the Crimewatch Roadshow hotline on 08000 468 999. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Crimewatch Roadshow Live is on BBC One every weekday at 9:15am until 27th September