Gardaí are hunting for a conman who masquerades as a garda detective or a worker for telecoms company Eir, writes Ann Murphy of the Evening Echo.
The man is targeting elderly people in counties Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny.
In the past month, he is believed to have successfully persuaded elderly people to hand over thousands of euro to him through two scams.
In some cases, the man claims to be from a detective unit checking for false bank notes. In other cases, he claims to be a worker for Eir who has found money outside his victim’s home. In that scam, he asks the elderly householder to check their wallet to see if they are missing money and then manages to snatch money from the wallet.
In recent weeks, the man has targeted homes in Mitchelstown, Newmarket and Rushbrooke posing as a detective.
In that scam, he asks to see the householder’s money to check it is not fake.
He tells his victims that he has a scanner in his car and he takes the money to his car, but does not return.
He carries a business card with a garda logo on it, using this to give the impression that he is a garda.
In the Newmarket incident, he met his elderly victim in a car park and managed to steal several hundred euro in his scam.
He used the Eir scam in incidents in Youghal, in recent days, as well as in Ballylickey and Skibbereen in west Cork.
A number of different cars are believed to be linked to the conman. One is a brown Volvo.
He has been described as being in his 40s, with dark hair. He sometimes wears glasses. In the Mitchelstown incident, his hair was described as fair and gardaí believe he may have worn a wig on that occasion.
This story first appeared in today's Evening Echo.