Warning as scammers pretending to be from Pieta House are going door to door
The public is being warned that scammers are going door to door pretending to be from charity Pieta House in a bid to con people out of money.
The scam artists are posing as collectors from the charity and have been operating mainly in the Dublin region since last year.
Pieta House said they reported the scam to Gardai earlier this year, but there have been a number of new incidents since.
The charity focuses on the prevention of self-harm or suicide, and opened over nine years ago with Lucan in County Dublin the centre of operations.
They said the majority of scams have occurred in the Dublin region but that some cases were found in the surrounding counties. Reports of scammers have been reported in places such as Lucan, Ballyfermot, Stillorgan, Leixlip and Rathgar.
A fundraising and volunteer co-ordinator at Pieta House has said they are suitably worried about the scam as it is affecting them and other charities.
"We received reports during the summer of 2014 and reported them to the gardai. During 2015 we have had reports of six or seven incidents," Marie Peelo told the Irish Daily Mirror.
"Obviously we have sympathy for the people that had been duped and concern for their security and vulnerability. We are also very upset that someone was taking advantage of the wonderful support we receive from the general public.
"We would be concerned the charity’s activities are being use to target vulnerable people. We are advising the public that Pieta House does not carry out door to door collections.
"If someone wishes to fundraise on behalf of Pieta House, they must have our written permission. If they are having a street collection, they must have written permission from Pieta House and a Garda permit, both of which they must carry at all times.
"We are very grateful to the general public for bringing these bogus collectors to our attention and with their help, with increased awareness and with the help of An Garda Siochana, we can reduce the number of bogus collectors abusing our wonderful support."
Gardai confirmed they are aware of the scam and are urging the public to be vigilant.