Warnings as bogus collectors prowl Fingal

by Sylvia Pownall
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Tyrrelstown residents have been warned about bogus collectors in the area

Burglars are posing as charity collectors and using young kids to call door-to-door targeting vacant houses over the Easter holidays, it has been warned.

Neighbourhood Watch has had reports of youths calling to estates in Tyrrelstown claiming to be collecting for a boxing club – checking windows and doors.

There have also been reports of bogus collectors in Swords over the past fortnight using children and false sponsorship cards to con people out of cash.

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) warned: “Most organisations and sports clubs do not collect door to door. No matter how official somebody looks, with high-vis jackets, clipboards and IDs, our experience seems to be that the majority are fraudulent.”

Suspicious behaviour should be reported to the gardai in Blanchardstown (01 666 7000) or Swords (666 4700).

Last week Tyrellstown Neighbourhood Watch received a number of reports of two youths claiming to be collecting for a boxing club.

A spokesperson stated: “The boxing club in question confirmed that they do not represent them. They have been seen looking in windows of the houses as they go around.”

In the Swords scam, a number of adults accompanied by children have been calling door to door in several estates over the past fortnight.

Cllr Butler, who received a number of reports, posted a warning on Facebook advising extreme caution when collectors call to the door.

He said: “Unless you know the people involved, if you know them from your estate or your local club, or you are able to 100% verify them, please work on the assumption that they are most likely fraudulent and do not hand over money.

“We are a very generous nation and unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there glad to take advantage of this.

“Please be extremely cautious when collectors call to your door looking for sponsorship or donations and call gardai if you have any doubts.”

Just a few weeks ago the ISPCC issued a warning for householders to be wary of bogus collectors in north Dublin.

It issued a statement after con artists targeted estates in Rush, Lusk and Portmarnock advising that it “never encourages” cash collections at the door.

To check if a charity is registered or raise a concern you can contact the Charities Regulator at www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie.

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