Warning as con men on the prowl

by Rebecca Ryan
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Local group Cabinteely Life warned on Facebook that elderly residents in area are being targeted by con men

Elderly residents in Cabinteely are being targeted by con men operating in the area.

Cabinteely Life warned on Facebook of an elderly man scammed by two men who offered to clean his house gutters for €80. When the job was completed the men demanded €800. “The frightened resident was then driven by the individuals to a bank to get the cash.”

A second incident reported two men offering “free” furniture to elderly residents but then leaving the furniture in their house and demanding money.

Cabinteely Life encouraged people in the area to report anything suspicious to Gardai and also called on the community to look out for elderly neighbours.

Residents in the area are very concerned about the recent reports. One said: “My mother got done five weeks back with the clearing of the gutters. They did one small section and took €50 off her. She didn’t realise the rest of the work wasn’t done.”

Another said: “They hang around in transit vans on a road watching people coming and going. If you see lads on your road like that note it down and inform
garda. They robbed my aunt’s house in Cabinteely.”

Concerned Dun Laoghaire residents are also concerned it is spreading to their area too.

There were reports of white transit vans with “clearance furniture” written on the side. One resident said “They were in Dun Laoghaire yesterday tried to sell me the same chair in a furniture clearance van. [They] claimed they were Des Kelly.”

Local councillor Cormac Devlin (FF) told Dublin Gazette there is a free service for the over 65’s that he would encourage people to avail of instead of door to-door services.

“Sadly, these crimes are quite common and these scams are namely perpetrated against at the elderly and most vulnerable in our society.

“The best rule of all is not to buy any service from people at your front door. I know some people can be interested in certain services being offered door-to-door, but especially for the elderly or those living alone and if they need work done around the house.

“My advice is that they should contact ‘Care & Repair’ (01) 445 5450. This is a free service for the over 65’s and they’ll do odd jobs around your house by Garda vetted individuals.”

Cllr Devlin also said that the Gardai have an initiative to prevent people from being scammed like this.

“I am aware of An Garda Síochána’s initiative which attempts to offer better protection to individuals dealing with cold calling/sales people.

“It is a simple yellow, business sized card that can be given through the letterbox, so people don’t even have to open their front door to cold callers. The caller then puts their company contact telephone number and they can then be verified.

“These cards are available at all Garda Stations and are free and I would encourage people to start using them, especially as we head into darker, winter evenings”

Councillor Barry Saul (FG) also told Dublin Gazette that he is calling an the Gardai to set up a local task force to deal with the issues being reported around the area.

“It is happening throughout the county and we need to put in place a plan to increase awareness but also to tackle it from a Gardai perspective,” said Cllr Saul.

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