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Vulnerable people targeted by rogue traders in Cork as gardaí launch operation to tackle the criminals

Gardaí have identified 50 suspected bogus traders.

Gardaí conducting a checkpoint in Cork last week.
Gardaí conducting a checkpoint in Cork last week.
Image: Garda Press Office

GARDAÍ HAVE IDENTIFIED 50 people they believe are targeting older and more vulnerable people with bogus home repair services. 

In many circumstances, gardaí believe that these rogue operators are intentionally damaging private property so they can offer their ‘repair’ services. 

Additional resources have been deployed in Cork city to tackle the traders. Detectives have also been appointed to the operation. 

However, gardaí want the public to report any incidence of this occurring so officers can investigate them properly.

The additional resources for the operation will see gardaí, both uniform and detectives, carry out additional patrols throughout Cork city. It will also increase checkpoints carried out with the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare.

Over the last two weeks, gardaí on patrol have received reports of 30 incidents of people canvassing members of the public offering illegitimate home repair services.

Superintendent Mick Comyns explained that these criminals are deliberately causing damage to private property in the hope that they will be paid to fix it. 

He said: “In Cork city, we have identified up to 50 people who we believe travel around the city with the sole aim of trying to defraud people by offering services such as building work, repairs and gardening. These people can even go as far as to damage your property and then inform you it needs to be fixed urgently.

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“If you are offered services from someone who cold calls to your door, and you don’t believe they are genuine, call us. I would also ask that If anyone feels like they, or someone they know, paid for building work or other services that was not carried out or that was substandard, to call any Garda station and report the matter. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and we will carry out a full investigation.”
 
Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Tony Davis urged people to check in with elderly or more vulnerable neighbours as they may be targets of the criminals. 

He said: “If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and see or hear about bogus traders operating in your area, 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 Gardaí immediately.

“Genuine tradespeople won’t be offended by any queries that you or Gardaí may make. If you do wish to you avail of their services, ask for a brochure or documentation so you can carry out checks and verify their credibility. This should include a contact number and a VAT registered number.”

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