Bogus collectors spark warning from group

by Gazette Reporter

The Swords Needs Playgrounds group is warning members of the public to be vigilant about bogus collectors calling to local homes in the area posing as members of the group.
The bogus collectors are believed to have called to homes on at least two occasions over the past couple of weeks looking for money.
However the group have warned residents that there are no members of their group currently collecting money as all funds have already been raised for the project.
Speaking to the Gazette, Marica Killi of Swords Needs Playgrounds said that the incidents happened over the bank holiday weekend in the Broadmeadows and Southbank estates in Swords.
“An uncle of one of the ladies in the committee had a knock on his door and a lady and her daughter were collecting money for Swords Needs Playgrounds,” she explained.
“He thought it was strange because he thought all of the money had already been collected.”
Following the incident, Marica posted a notice on to the group’s Facebook page, which has over 500 members. “Obviously we didn’t know whether it was a bogus call or not at that point, because I have still had people in the last two weeks offering donations so I put up a notice reminding people that the fundraising had been completed.”
A couple of days later, Marica said a second incident took place, this time in a separate housing estate in Swords.
“A lady living in Southbank put up a post on Facebook saying that she just had a knock on the door from a woman and her son, collecting money for the Swords Needs Playgrounds group. Because she had seen my post the day beforehand, she called the gardai.”
According to Marica, it is believed that members of the local gardai responded to the call and caught up with the mother and son.
“We hoped that was the end of it and we haven’t heard anything since,” she added.
Marica says it is “worrying” that people can get away with bogus calls.
“The thing about it is that the first night was that terrible night when there was wind and storms and rain.
“Those people must have been so desperate to take a child out on that night and go around.
“If there is anybody collecting money at your door, if you don’t know them, then I wouldn’t give them any money.”
Local councillor Darragh Butler (FF) is also warning residents to be vigilant.
“The Swords Needs Playground group did fantastic work in achieving their fund raising targets and new playgrounds are now due at Swords Manor and Thornleigh in the coming months and it is a shame that fraudsters are attempting to abuse their good name for their own fraudulent purposes.
“We have had incidents in the past with regards to sports clubs, boxing clubs, old folks homes, etc. Please take care and never, ever hand over money unless you are 100% certain that the cause is genuine.”
An Garda Siochana were contacted by the Gazette but the incidents could not be confirmed.

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