Gardaí are increasing patrols in Cork to target rogue traders and are urging people to be wary of cold callers.
During the past two weeks, gardaí on patrol in Cork City had more than 30 incidents of people canvassing members of the public offering rogue home repair services.
These incidents, and checkpoints involving social welfare officers, have led to approximately 70 people warranting further investigation by Social Welfare for suspected fraudulent claims.
“In Cork City, we have identified up to 50 people who we believe travel around the city with the sole aim of trying to defraud people by offering services such as building work, repairs, and gardening,” said Superintendent Mick Comyns. “These people can even go as far as to damage your property and then inform you it needs to be fixed urgently.
“If you are offered services from someone who cold calls to your door, and you don’t believe they are genuine, call us. I would also ask that if anyone feels like they, or someone they know, paid for building work or other services that was not carried out or that was substandard to call any Garda station and report the matter. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and we will carry out a full investigation.”
Crime prevention officer Sergeant Tony Davis also asked the public to warn elderly or vulnerable neighbours if they know of bogus traders operating in the area, and to also alert gardaí.
“Genuine tradespeople won’t be offended by any queries that you or gardaí may make,” said Sgt Davis.
“If you do wish to avail of their services, 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.”