Gardaí in Co Cork are investigating an incident where an elderly woman was "cold called" and pressured into buying tools she did not want.
Gardaí in Bantry say the incident involved suspects calling uninvited to the lady's home "and made her feel pressurised into paying an extortionate price for 12 chainsaws, 11 generators, seven power washer and assorted tools which she had no use for and did not want."
The gardaí say the woman, who lives alone, "handed over a substantial amount of money made up of several cheques" most of which have since been cancelled.
The guards are appealing for anyone who may have been victim to a similiar crime to contact them and have asked people to make sure elderly family members and neighbours are aware of the incident.
Speaking at Anglesea Street Garda Station in Cork, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Tony Davis said: "This is a heinous crime that was committed as it targets the more vulnerable members of our communities.
"If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and see or hear about bogus traders doing the rounds, let them and ourselves know so we can put out additional patrols.
"If you are answering the door to ‘cold callers’, apply the chain or door limiter before opening the door.
"I would also ask that if anyone feels like they, or someone they know, has been a victim of being sold goods for extortionate prices, or paid for a service that was not carried out, to call any garda station and report the matter."
Following the incident, the gardaí have released a statement offering crime prevention advice: