The people of Donegal are being urged to be careful about who they answer their doors to as dozens of people have been targetted in a door to door sales scam.
A number of rural householders have been hit by a gang pretending to operate on behalf of the Irish Deaf Society.
The scammers are presenting people with bogus cards and asking for donations. In some cases, they are asking people to sign up for direct debit forms and are extracting bank details.
A number of incidents have been reported to Gardai and one of the bogus collectors was interviewed by Gardai.
The manager of the fundraising wing for the Irish Deaf Society, Janette Byrne, said the collection was a blatant scam.
“This is just disgusting and it is not the first time this has happened. We are advising people that we never call door-to-door and this has nothing to do with the Irish Deaf Society,” she said.
Local Garda Seargent Paul Wallace said they were aware of the scam and were advising people not to hand over money – or even answer their doors to the gang.
“These people are scammers and are out to pull at the heartstrings of people and defraud people.” – Sgt Wallace
“The collection of money is very strictly governed. It is to protect the consumers.
“It is part of a very well organised and orchestrated scam. We are aware of it and it has happened in various places in the county.
“They are preying on elderly and vulnerable people. Irish people will part with money for charities but this causes untold damage to registered charities.” – Sgt Wallace
He advised people to immediately contact Gardai if they feel callers are bogus and that they will investigate immediately.
“Nobody should feel vulnerable in their homes and we will investigate any such complaints.
“We are asking people to take a good mental note of these people and to call us straight away so we can interview them and to verify if they are bogus or legitimate,” he said.