1. VAT scam
Bogus V.A.T. Charges -Different members of the same gang may carry out a con over a period of time on the same victim.
A few of the culprits will offer to complete work or repairs on the property, and then different members will approach a victim’s house posing as V.A.T. or Revenue Officials.
They will demand extra money for the work by claiming bogus taxes or hidden fees.
2. Poor Work/Excessive Charges
The culprits, in this instance, usually call to the home of a victim identified by them beforehand. They typically target the person because they have been successful there previously, or because the victim is an elderly individual living alone.
The culprits gather information that is usually gleaned by surveillance, or discreet/innocent inquiries made locally. Often, the culprits will call on the pretext of being in-expensive professional roofers, guttering experts, painters, other trades people etc, and convince the victim that repairs need to be carried out.
Once they give the appearance of work, the culprits will then demand payment by cash, often using threatening and intimidating tactics, and may even drive the victim to the bank to collect money.
3. Deposit Scams
When the criminals are satisfied that they have hoodwinked the intended victim into engaging them for work, they will demand a deposit to purchase the materials to carry out the necessary repairs.
Having secured the deposit they flee, never to return.
4. Opportunity Thefts
If a person calls to your door offering you professional trade services. However, in reality they may be scoping properties out for criminal activity such as burglary at a later date.
Always seek comparable estimates for any services offered from other established, reputable companies. Never engage a person who insists on cash payment for services offered. Even when employing a contract trades person, a reputable company always use a method of payment that is traceable.
Never leave strangers, even bona fide workers, unsupervised in your home. If you think you have become a victim to this type of crime then ask your local Garda Station or IFA Crime Prevention Office for details on how to report it.
a. Tell the caller that you never employ trades people ‘cold calling’ to your door.
b. Ask for a sales brochure or other documentation.
c. Verify the information yourself.
Be safety conscious
Launching a new campaign to increase security awareness among farmers, IFA National Treasurer Jer Bergin recently stressed the importance of being safety conscious and marking and securing property to reduce the chance of a theft occurring.
Jer Bergin said, “Marking your property, photographing it, and making an inventory will, firstly, go a long way towards preventing it being stolen and, secondly, significantly increase the chance of recovery if it is stolen”
In addition, he encouraged all farmers to take time to close gates at night and during periods of absence, “Be proactive in securing your property; make sure to lock gates, outhouse doors and sheds. Be observant; report any unusual or suspicious activity in your area to An Garda Siochana who will investigate all reports.
“The recent Garda recovery of over 500 pieces of stolen property is a clear indication of the scale of theft happening in rural Ireland. At the Property Recovery Day in Tipperary where these items were on display, one message was very clear - with no identification markings on an item, the chances of property being reunited with its rightful owner is very slim indeed.”
For Stories Like This and More
Download the FarmIreland App