A GROUP of “bogus traders” pressured an elderly woman over in Country Cork into buying a stockpile of tools she had no use for.
The woman, who lives alone in Bantry, West Cork, reportedly paid an “extortionate price” for 12 chainsaws, 11 generators, 7 power washers and assorted tools.
She handed over a substantial amount of money to “cold callers” who arrived at her house.
The one saving grace was that the elderly woman paid the group in cheques, meaning the authorities were able to cancel the majority before they were cashed.
Gardai are appealing to anyone who may have been the victim of a similar crime to come forward and are asking that people with elderly friends or family members stay vigilant.
An Garda Siochana is calling on the public to be wary of any documentation that only includes mobile numbers or incomplete addresses.
The public should also be careful not to engage with any salesperson insisting on cash payments and to ensure workers are not left unsupervised in the home.
Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Tony Davis said: “This is a heinous crime that was committed as it targets the more vulnerable members of our communities.”
“If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and see or hear about bogus traders doing the rounds, let them and ourselves know so we can put out additional patrols,” he said.
“If you suspect that anyone who calls to your door selling goods or services is not who they say they are; tell them you are not interested and call the Gardaí immediately. Genuine trade’s people won’t be offended by any queries the Gardaí may make.
“If you are answering the door to ‘cold callers,’ apply the chain or door limiter before opening the door.
“I would also ask that if anyone feels like they, or someone they know has been a victim of being sold goods for extortionate prices, or paid for a service that was not carried out, to call any Garda station and report the matter.”