Gardaí warn homeowners to beware of ‘bogus callers’ posing as gardaí in money scam
15th November 2022
Homeowners have been warned to beware of ‘bogus callers’ posing as gardaí calling to homes amid a rise in reports of this type of money scam.
Bogus tradesmen fraud is up by 15pc so far this year.
Gardaí said they are aware of an increase in the number of incidents of people impersonating them as they advised homeowners and residents to “lock up and light up” during longer darker winter evenings.
Recent incidents of this type of fraud involve the ‘conmen’ requesting to check cash held by the injured party as a result of an increase in counterfeit cash circulating in the area, or that the ‘conmen’ need to check the security of the house as a result of an increase in burglaries in the area.
Gardaí said they will not cold call to a house and request to do either of these things.
They reminded the public that any genuine garda member calling to your door will always provide details to allow you to confirm their identity with the local Garda Station.
Sergeant Graham Kavanagh of the Garda National Crime Prevention Unit said burglaries traditionally rise during the longer winter nights.
“Locking up and lighting up over the coming months could be the difference between making your home safe and making your home vulnerable. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
“As the days get shorter, simple steps have been proven to deter burglars, such as using an alarm, using timer switches to turn on lights, storing keys away from windows and letterboxes as well as having a lock up routine for all doors and windows.”
Nearly half of burglaries (45pc) occur between 5pm and 11pm. Over 20pc of winter burglaries involved a premises that was unsecure.
There has also been an increase in access through rear entrances by burglars at 45pc, possibly due to being able to operate more easily in the cover of darkness.
Break-ins through the front door are the most common entry route for burglars with approximately 33pc gaining entry to the property in this way while one in five access through an unsecured window or door.
Gardaí said ‘body pressure’ is the number one method used to gain entry.
Gardaí recommended people to take “simple steps” to protect their home.
Homeowners should turn on some lights, LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
Use timer switches and motion detectors or smart lights to turn on lights via phone. Use motion detectors or sensor lights outside, make sure they cover the door and not just the area near the door.
Residents should also lock all doors and windows as part of their regular routine and use an alarm – get it serviced and ensure the battery pack is working.
People should store their keys away from windows and not keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.
Based on an analysis of burglaries from January to October 2022, jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen.
Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are also among the top items stolen.
Meanwhile, the practice of ‘fishing’, where car keys are fished through a letterbox by burglars, also remains a problem with the Dublin region most at risk.