Gardaí in Donegal are warning the public to beware of cold callers and suspected bogus traders.
The alert comes following a number of reports of unprofessional traders doing in the rounds offering the sale of goods or services.
Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn has asked the public to report any matters which they feel are suspicious to Gardaí.
“We have had a small number of reports of cold callers and bogus traders, these are people who come to a home or business unannounced and offer products or services under false pretences. I would appeal to the public to be vigilant for anything out of the ordinary and to report any suspicious occurrences”.
“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 the Gardaí may make. By reporting these incidents it allows for us to deploy Gardaí to those areas. Our Community Policing units are always on hand to pay regular visits to anyone who might feel susceptible to any type of crime.” Chief Superintendent McGinn said.
Donegal’s Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Paul Wallace has the following advice to householders:
“If you are answering the door to ‘cold callers’, apply the chain or door limiter before opening the 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 V.A.T registered number. Be careful of documentation that only displays mobile contact numbers or incomplete addresses. If you are satisfied that the company or individual is credible and you want to make a purchase, ask for an itemised written quotation for the exact goods/services being offered.
“Never rely on the accuracy of the information, always verify the information yourself. Always seek comparable estimates for services. Never engage a person who insists on a cash payment as it is untraceable. Neve leave strangers, even bona fide workers, unsupervised in your home. I would also ask that if anyone feels like they, or someone they know has been a victim of being sold goods for extortionate prices, or paid for a service that was not carried out, to call any Garda station and report the matter,” he concluded.