GARDAÍ warn that criminals are targeting vulnerable people, after a man claiming to be a priest rang an elderly person in Cork in recent days.
Gardaí in Fermoy have been contacted about a telephone call received by an elderly woman from a man claiming he was a local priest, and offering to call to her home.
The woman was wary and did not allow the man to call.
In a Facebook post, gardaí warned: “Criminals may take advantage of the #Covid19 guidelines in place and target vulnerable people. Please check in with your vulnerable friends and family regularly and report any suspicious activity to gardaí. Nobody should be cold-calling and offering to visit our homes.”
The warning continued: “Our most vulnerable communities should not feel alone right now. Many people who most need help are not on social media, so please pass on contact info for your local authority Covid-19 Community Support Programme or Alone 0818222024. We are always available 24/7 and happy to help.”
Following reports of bogus callers visiting homes in Cork city, Independent city councillor Mick Finn said: “In these testing times, I would urge families and neighbours to keep checking in on people living on their own and be vigilant about strangers around their areas. These criminals are clearly watching and targeting vulnerable people.”
He urged householders to avoid keeping money at home where possible.
Last week, elderly residents of Blarney St were targeted by a male caller who claimed to represent a local community association. He told householders the association would be dropping food hampers to elderly people as part of a community effort, at a charge of €2 per hamper.
However, one woman realised the man was a fraud and refused to engage with him.