One of the most annoying things about frauds and swindles is that they often come at a time when people are already feeling low or facing difficulties. There are many fraudsters who know exactly when to strike in order to capitalise on people’s misfortunes or take action at a time when they are most likely to succeed. The challenging weather conditions of late have caused many problems for businesses and homeowners, but sadly, this has created the situation for fraudsters to earn quick and easy money.
A recent example of this has arisen in Ireland where the local police have issued a warning to the public about what they refer to as “storm swindlers”. The Gardai have responded to an incident which took place in Claremorris with an elderly couple being swindled out of close to 1,000 euros. This was down to a gang posing as tree surgeons who said they would do some work in the wake of the recent storms.
A gang of scammers caused problems
It was Storm Fionn that caused the damage. This incident saw four males operating from a white Transit van, with the van having “Tree Surgeons” emblazoned across it. The men were offering to remove overhanging trees which they claimed to be posing a danger. The real twist in the tale came with the men offering a discount of 500 euros to do the work then if the couple paid in cash.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is
This action should set alarm bells ringing. However, the chance to save money and having an issue resolved as quickly as possible is very appealing and you can see why people would like to take advantage of this style of offer. A deal was agreed and work was undertaken but before too long, the “tree surgeons” requested a further 400 euros, again in cash, so that they could hire equipment. This equipment hire would ensure that the work could be carried out faster and in a safer manner. The men also claimed that the scale of the task was much bigger than initially thought.
Then men took the cash but never returned, leading the couple to raise an official complaint with a matter of days. While the police are working on this issue, they have also issued a warning to people to not be fooled by this sort of offer. The aftermath of a storm can be upsetting and there is often a need for work to be carried out quickly and efficiently, which means that this sort of assistance is appealing. However, in the long term, succumbing to this sort of problem only causes more problems and heartache for people.
With other local police forces in Ireland citing similar complaints, it appears that there are many problems of this nature across the country. This should serve as a warning to people in the UK who may receive an offer like this.