Mayo householders should be vigilant for scams

Superintendent of Castlebar Peter O’Boyle has urged the public to not to give out any personal financial details or hand over any money to anyone who may call at your door, or cold call to your home phone, as a number of scams are ongoing in the region.

The superintendent told the Mayo Advertiser of one incident where a man called to the home of an elderly woman and offered to clear her guttering for a large amount of money. The woman handed over cash and the man never returned or completed the work. The superintendent advised people not to engage in any business where people are calling to your home and asking for money up front or asking for your financial details.

Another scam which has been carried out recently in Mayo has been a cold calling scam to homes, where the caller will say he is calling from a well-known computer firm and will ask if there is a computer in the house. If verified that there is, the caller will say that he is ringing to check the computer for problems. The caller will ask you to turn on your computer and will try to gain remote access to the computer, by asking the owner to log into a website and download a file. The caller will say that this is anti-virus software, however the scam artist will gain full access to your computer and all your details. The caller will then even ask for a payment for ‘fixing’ your computer and credit card information is normally sought.

No increase in burglaries in Castlebar

New figures released from the Central Statistics Office show that nationally there has been a decrease in the number of burglaries and related offences for the second quarter of 2011 (6,156 ) down 1.4 per cent from 6,242 the same period in 2010. Theft and related offences were also down 5.5 per cent from 20,050 in quarter two of 2010 to 18,847 in the same quarter of this year.

This is also reflected locally, with Supt O’Boyle saying that figures for May, June, and July of this year in relation to burglaries are “down a little on last year”. He said that there have been five burglaries in the Castlebar district in July of this year, in comparison to eight this time last year.

Supt O’Boyle said that there may be a spike of burglaries occurring in areas at certain times, with certain individuals carry out these crimes, however he said that Garda investigations into recent burglaries are going well and an arrest for one such crime is imminent.

Supt O’Boyle also said that local gardaí have been raising awareness recently of the theft of farm machinery and fuel, something which is an ongoing problem. Another crime which the public are urged to take precaution about is with leaving their cars unlocked or leaving valuables in their parked cars.

The superintendent said that information leaflets on preventing fraud and crime prevention are available from Castlebar Garda Station or are available on the Garda website www.garda.ie

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