ELDERLY and vulnerable people are being intimidated with a 71% rise in the reporting of what Gardaí categorise as menacing phone calls, new figures have shown.
So far this year, detectives at Anglesea Street have dealt with 48 reports of nuisance phonecalls, a rise of 20 in the same period in 2018.
Councillor Joe Kavanagh (FG) said he has heard of many cases from his own constituents.
“A day doesn’t go by when our phones don’t ring and somebody is on the end of the phone offering to fix your computer. That’s fine for me, I can cut them off but I do hear from elderly people and they are quite concerned and they do feel a little bit intimated. It’s intrusive and we need to be able to reassure people that the Gardaí are tackling it.”
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin told the Cork City Joint Policing Committee that he believes many of the calls are from the same person.
“Apart from being a nuisance they can cause upset to people, particularly vulnerable people and the elderly. We think that increase in numbers may be from repeat offenders and phone calls from the same person.
“These are not all nuisance calls and unwarranted and some can be from service providers. All are investigated and brought to a conclusion,” Mr McPolin added.
Councillor Thomas Gould (SF) told The Echo recently that he had received several reports from constituents about an American prefixed number that was dialling people in the city and trying to extract bank details from then.
Mr Gould said Government legislation is needed to tackle the increase in these scams.
Gardaí are currently restricted in investigating phone scams due to a High Court ruling that found that allowing data from mobile phones to be retained and accessed breaches EU law and the European Convention on Human rights because it is not reviewed by a court or independent authority before it is accessed.