Gardai have warned people living in rural areas to be on the alert for scam artists after an elderly woman in West Limerick was the victim of a con job in the past week.
The woman, who lives in the Castlemahon area, let a man into her home on the pretext that he was there to fix a leaking tap. Having initially agreed a fee for the job and received payment in advance, the man then demanded double the amount before making his getaway after the woman handed over the cash.
“He told her he was going to his van to get tools and that was the last that was seen of this con man,” a garda spokesperson said.
Gardai in Newcastle West are investigating the incident.
Inspector Brian O’Donovan warned people not to open the door to anyone they don’t know.
“Ask them for an identification card and if you have any suspicion at all, ring the gardai,” Insp O’Donovan advised.
“Don’t hand over any money unless you are satisfied as to their identity,” he added.
The man who carried out the scam in Castlemahon is described as being in his 20s and having dark hair with a long spiked fringe.
This is not the first incident in recent weeks when criminals purporting to be workmen have taken money unlawfully.
Last month, an elderly woman living outside Newcastle West fell victim to a similar scam when she replied to an ad offering tree cutting services.
A group of men arrived to do the job but shortly after arriving, began demanding more money than was agreed to carry out the work, eventually making off with over €5,000. In that instance, the gang involved were identified shortly afterwards by gardai and the money was recovered.
Gardai in Newcastle West area are also investigating the theft of a large amount of fencing wire which was taken from a locked container at an isolated premises in Ballyloughane, Carrigkerry last Friday.
In all 200 rolls of barbed wire as well as a several rolls of sheep wire and rabbit wire were stolen.
Gardai are warning members of the public to be alert to anyone attempting to sell these or other suspicious items in the coming weeks and months.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Newcastle West garda station at 069-20650 or 1800 666111.