Vulnerable people living on their own have been warned to be on full alert for con men out to plunder their life savings.
Tipperary's Crime Prevention officer Sgt Tom O’Dwyer appealed to the elderly and those living alone to be on full alert for gangs who specialise in tricking them out of their savings.
“These are highly organised gangs who strike on the pretence that they can carry out roof repairs, clean gutters, paint or carry out some building work and people are taken in by them” said Sgt O’Dwyer.
He called on people to be vigilant for these gangs who are on the prowl and specialise in cleaning people out of substantial sums of money.
“These people are specialised gangs who have mastered a t echnique .They have it down to a fine art” warned Sgt O’Dwyer.
He appealed to houseowners, particularly the elderly and those living on their own, to never engage with “cold callers”
“These gangs will offer their services on the understanding that they are competent and in-expensive. They will then usually go to the roof or attic of the house and start hammering, drilling, painting etc. to give the appearance of working. On completing the ‘work’, invariably in a short period, they then demand payment by cash, often using threatening and intimidating tactics.
They may even drive the victim to the bank to collect money.
“ People have lost a lot of money as a result of these gangs and we only hear a fraction of it.In a lot of cases people who have been caught out by these gangs are too embarrased to report it and just take the hit” said Sgt O’Dwyer.
Sgt O’Dwyer appealed to people who may need work carried out on their houses to consult with neighbours and family to identify reputable workmen for them.
“Also neighbours should keep an eye out if they see members of these gangs calling in their estate and should alert the elderly or people living on their own to their presence” said Sgt O’Dwyer.
“ If you suspect that bogus callers or trades people are in your area tell your neighbour ands friends and never hesitate in contacting the Gardai immediately,” he said.