Kilkenny gardai warn against scam by travelling gangs targeting elderly

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Gardaí are warning people to be extra vigilant after an elderly man was duped out of his savings during an elaborate scam.
A pensioner, who lives in a rural location in South Kilkenny, was targeted by a group of travelling criminals in recent weeks who called to his home and started cutting the hedges around his property.
They demanded €2,500 for the work which the pensioner was forced to hand over.
It has since been estimated that the work should have cost €120.
The victim, who was nervous and in fear, told the gang that he did not have the money that was being demanded. The men then insisted that they accompany them to his local bank and he withdrew the money and handed it over.
“We are appealing to people living in isolated areas to be vigilant for this type of criminal activity, which happens from time to time, where travelling criminals prey on vulnerable members of our community.
“If anyone sees anything suspicious or is approached by people trying to gain access to their property without permission they should contact gardaí
"We are also appealing to people working in financial institutions to be cautious and to enquire why people are withdrawing large amounts of money if this is unusual for the customer or the customer appears nervous or distressed," said Superintendent Derek Hughes of Thomastown Garda Station, who confirmed that there is an ongoing investigation but declined to comment in relation to the specific incident.
It is understood that gardaí are following line of enquiry and are treating it as theft by deception.
Two suspects have been arrested and a file on the matter is being prepared for the DPP.