Bogus traders alert after OAP sold 12 chainsaws and tools
Gardai have issued a warning about bogus callers and rogue traders after an elderly woman was pressurised into paying for tools she did not want or need - including 12 chainsaws.
Officers revealed that the pensioner, who lives alone, handed over "a substantial amount of money made up of several cheques" for 12 chainsaws, 11 generators, seven power-washers and other tools.
Most of the cheques were cancelled before they were cashed.
Gardai in Bantry, Cork, are appealing to anyone who has been the victim of a similar crime to contact them, and are asking the public to tell elderly relatives and neighbours about the incident.
Officers described it as a "heinous crime" and said extra patrols would be put on if vulnerable members of the public saw bogus traders in the area.
"This is a heinous crime as it targets the more vulnerable members of our communities," Sergeant Tony Davis said.
"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.
"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 gardai immediately.
"Genuine tradespeople won't be offended by any queries the gardai 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."
Gardai say people should always ask tradespeople who call at the door for identification.
They also advise the public to seek comparable estimates for services, to never engage a person who insists on cash-only payments and to never leave strangers, even bona fide workers, unsupervised in the home.
"If a person calls to your door offering you professional trade services or selling goods and you are worried they are not bona fide, tell the caller that you never employ tradespeople or buy goods from people who cold call," a garda spokesperson said.