Warning issued after children spotted collecting for Dublin charity walk that doesn't exist
A warning has been issued to residents in a Dublin estate after children were spotted collecting for a charity walk that doesn't exist.
Alan Hayes, who is a member of his local Neighbourhood Watch in Palmerstown and runs a Facebook page about local issues, said that the alleged scammers were spotted recently.
He said: "The kids are being sent around by their abusive parents who sit in cars and watch them do it.
"They are collecting money for a charity walk that isn't happening, claiming they are walking for Palmerstown Community & Youth Centre."
He continued: "We know it's a scam. For me, at the end of the day, these are kids who are being told to go out and do this. There are parents sitting in the cars.
"It is not always the same children but they are almost always the same age range, 11,12, 13 and usually girls. It always seems to be for a sponsored walk."
Mr Hayes put a note about this alleged scam on Facebook and was contacted by dozens of others who had spotted the same thing.
"This is something that I have witnessed first hand. It is a regular scam that I have seen not just in Palmerstown. It is also happening in Lucan and other parts of Dublin."
He said it is eroding local trust in charities.
"They are getting money from some houses. They are taking advantage of the good will of people in Palmerstown and they are denying legitimate charities the opportunity to collect."
He advises anyone uncertain about a door-to-door collector not to donate and to contact gardaí if they believe the person asking for cash is not legitimate.
Anyone who spots the scammers is asked to contact gardaí in Ballyfermot on 01-6667200 or Ronanstown on 01-6667700.