Fraud probe  | 

Bogus roofers targeting vulnerable pensioners as one scammed OAP issues warning

His case is being investigated by gardaí in Donnybrook, who are following a definite line of inquiry

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Ken Foy

Gardaí have warned of an increase in fraud crimes involving bogus tradesmen since the end of the pandemic lockdowns.

Speaking to the Sunday World, a recent victim of fraud, a pensioner living in Ranelagh, Dublin, said he wanted to highlight his case as he is "absolutely determined" to see the culprits caught and to warn other potential victims.

The man said he was conned out of an €850 deposit for building work but that €5,000 in cash was also demanded from him.

He said he was also invited to become involved in an insurance scam with the criminals who targeted him.

His case is being investigated by gardaí in Donnybrook, who are following a definite line of inquiry. No arrests have been made.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, said: "I feel outraged, disgusted and sickened about this and I am absolutely determined that no one else should be a victim of this individual."

The garda investigation has been helped by the fact they have details of the vehicle used by the alleged conman, as well as phone numbers and access to a slick website which is allegedly linked to the scammers, who are understood to be originally from Munster but now based in Dublin.

The victim's ordeal began on Thursday, April 14, when a young man called to his door and produced a leaflet about roofing repairs.

Another worker, described as being in his mid-50s, of a large build with ginger hair and speaking with a Munster accent, suggested the pensioner go with him across the road to look at the roof.

He told him there was "slippage" on the slates and that he could fix the damage for an agreed fee of €600.

The tradesman returned the following day. Scaffolding was erected and some work was carried out on the roof but at this stage the pensioner was informed there was a "very serious problem" with dry rot in the timber of the roof.

Investigations have since revealed no damage.

The tradesman then insisted on a cash deposit of €850 for the job, which was to cost up to €4,000. The victim went to his bank and got the cash.

The victim said the man returned the following week and "again explained that my roof was in a serious condition and that it was a big job".

"He suggested that the job will cost €9,000 but not to worry as my insurance would cover it," he added.

"He then suggested that I could claim €15,000 from my insurance company, Allianz, give him the nine grand and keep the rest for myself as he could look after the insurance paperwork.

"He had said he had done this before, and obviously this was an attempt to defraud my insurance company and I was not interested in that.

"He then asked me for €5,000 in cash to get the job done - I felt very pressurised at this stage."

The victim told the man he had lost all confidence in him and the man left and did not come back.

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