The suspect entered the home in Inglis Avenue in Port Seton, East Lothian, without invitation on Tuesday.
He examined the satellite box, appearing to fumble with cables, before demanding the owner pay £30 for his services.
The suspect produced what appeared to be a chip and pin device, and asked the owner to enter his bank card and pin number. The owner refused, and the suspect left empty-handed.
He is described as white, in his 20s, 5ft 8in tall, slim build, dark clothing, with a Fife accent.
A police spokesman said: “We are appealing to anyone in the Port Seton area who received any kind of unsolicited visit by a man claiming to be there to check their satellite system, or carry out any kind of electrical or maintenance work, to contact police.”