Gardai issue warning on roofing/guttering scam
An Garda Siochana National Crime Prevention Office has issued advice to members of the public on a roofing/guttering scam targeting elderly people.
It comes following Gardai being made aware of the scam being carried out in Limerick and surrounding areas.
The culprits, in this instance, usually call to the home of a victim identified by them beforehand.
It is often the home of an older or frail person living alone. This information is usually gleaned by surveillance or ‘discreet’ / ‘innocent’ enquiries made by the culprits locally.
They may also target the person because they have been ’successful’ there previously.
They will often call on the pretext of being professional roofers, guttering experts, painters or other tradespeople etc. and ‘convince’ the victim that repairs need to be carried out.
What can you do?
• Tell the caller that you never employ tradespeople ‘cold calling’ to your door. Ask for a sales brochure or other documentation that you can subsequently investigate and verify as credible. This should have a contact telephone number, known address and a V.A.T. registered subsequently investigate and verify as credible. This should have a contact telephone number, known address and a V.A.T. registered number.
• Be particularly careful where sales documentation only displays mobile contact numbers or incomplete addresses. Telephone directory enquiries can assist in establishing the credibility and bona fides of the company or individual concerned.
• If you are satisfied that the company or individual is credible and you still think their employment is necessary, ask for an itemised written quotation for the services being offered and the names of persons and locations where they have previously worked successfully.
• Never engage a person who insists on cash payment for services offered. Even when employing a reputable company always use a method of payment that is traceable.
• Never leave strangers, even bona fide workers, unsupervised in your home.
Gardai advise that people who may have elderly or vulnerable neighbours or friends, “be a good neighbour” and inform them of these possible scams.
“If you suspect that bogus callers or tradespeople are in your area and appear suspicious or are working in a vulnerable neighbour’s home – never hesitate in contacting the Gardaí immediately.”
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