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Gardaí warn elderly people to be vigilant of rogue traders operating this Christmas period

Gardaí have given a number of tips on how to keep safe.

Gardaí conducting a rogue trader checkpoint in September of this year.
Gardaí conducting a rogue trader checkpoint in September of this year.
Image: Garda Press Office

GARDAÍ HAVE WARNED elderly people to beware of rogue traders attempting to carry out needless repair work on homes across the country this festive period. 

Earlier this year, officers based in Cork city identified 50 people they suspected to be carrying out these works. 

Most of the time, the men targeted widows or elderly couples and get them to hand over thousands of euro for repair works that were never needed in the first place. 

Most incidents have been occurring in Cork, Dublin and Galway. 

Gardaí are now urging more vulnerable members of the public to be aware of the scam and not to hand over cash.

Those who feel they have been conned should get in touch with gardaí and make a statement as it is the only way an investigation can begin, officers say. 

The Christmas period is just another period of time when people should be aware of rogue traders. 

Detectives have been assigned to patrol areas where the criminals have previously targeted.

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Sergeant Brian McSweeney, who is the crime prevention officer for Cork city, urged people across the country to be vigilant and not to be afraid to ask questions of the traders before work commences. 

“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’ to your door.

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. Be careful of documentation that only displays mobile contact numbers or incomplete addresses.

Sergeant McSweeney said members of the public should never deal with someone who will only take cash as there will be no way to trace the money. 

He added: ” If you are satisfied that the company or individuals are credible and you want to make a purchase, ask for an itemised written quotation for the exact goods or services being offered. Never rely on the accuracy of the information, always verify the information yourself. Always seek comparable estimates for services.”

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