Gardaí in Douglas have warned elderly local householders to be wary of engaging with door-to-door salesmen calling to their homes, following reports of confidence tricksters operating in the area.
“There are bona fide agents for companies, and they will never have any difficulty issuing a householder with ID if it is requested,” a garda spokesman said.
“You don’t even have to open the door, just ask for the ID to be posted through the letter box. If the person fails to issue it, and you are suspicious about the caller, notify the gardaí immediately,” he added.
The garda spokesman was responding to queries about a report of bogus UTV Internet operators in Douglas, who told one elderly woman that the firm was taking over another provider, and asked to inspect her account details.
The caller in one instance pressured the pensioner by telling her that she could transfer her services to UTV internet immediately, or wait three months and pay higher bills to the other provider for that period. At that point, the woman’s daughter appeared, and the caller left.
The Douglas garda spokesman said that while bogus callers were not limited to Douglas, they were operating in the area, in particular “mobile confidence tricksters”, who visited homes, offering to repair driveways, roofs and guttering, but actually preying on householders and “checking out who is living in houses and what their circumstances are”.
“Neighbours of elderly people should be vigilant and keep an eye out for these operators, and if they are suspicious about their activities, note the registration plates on their vehicles and notify the gardaí,” he said.