Patrols as scammers exploit coronavirus fears

Patrols as scammers exploit coronavirus fears

Extra patrol cars are on the roads in rural and urban parts of Kerry after reports of scammers targeting vulnerable people in their homes.

Men in boiler suits are calling to homes in Kerry, posing as HSE workers and offering fumigation services, gardaí have said.

The HSE does not provide such a service.

Properties in Farranfore and Killarney have been targeted in recent days, with four men wearing boiler suits calling in a van to homes, offering to fumigate the houses against Covid-19.

In another alleged incident, a smartly dressed man accompanied by a worker in protective gear has knocked on doors, saying that he has been sent to check insulation.

Fianna Fáil councillor Fionnán Fitzgerald, representing Castleisland, has been highlighting the matter on social media.

He has described what is happening as “appalling”.

“It is appalling that somebody would stoop so low in order to get money out of people in this current crisis,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Sergeant Tim O’Keeffe said: “People are vulnerable at the moment.

“They are scared, and [criminals] will prey on people because of that.”

He added extra patrol cars are on the roads in both rural and urban areas, and gardaí will drop prescriptions and bring in turf if needed. People should not hesitate to call on the gardaí if in need of assistance, Sgt O’Keeffe said.

Meanwhile, a new monitoring operation has been put into action in the Kerry Division to break up large groups of people.

They are also appealing to the public to contact authorities if they see large groups entering public houses or gathering in any location.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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