Gardaí in Donegal have issued an appeal for members of the public to exercise caution and good practice when carrying out banking transactions. This warning is issued in response to a number of reports of the targeting of people after carrying out substantial withdrawals of cash from financial institutions in the County.
In a number of cases persons were identified as making substantial withdrawals of cash and were followed to their vehicles which were broken into when parked and money taken.
Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Paul Wallace has issued the following simple advice.
1. If you need access to a substantial sum of money consider if this transaction can be carried out by electronic transfer of funds or via a bank draft rather than using cash.
2. If cash is required pre- book the transaction by contacting the financial institution in advance by telephone or agreed email communication.
3. Be careful whilst transacting business be alert for persons in close proximity listening in to a conversation.
4. Exercise caution whilst returning to your vehicle, be prepared to drive away do not leave sum of cash in a locked vehicle.
5. Be aware that somebody may be following or ‘shadowing’ you whilst on foot or driving.
6. If you have been a victim of crime – REPORT IT.
Staff and management in financial institutions should be alert and aware for persons/vehicles loitering in the vicinity of the financial institution. Persons loitering in or around the building should be monitored and Gardaí contacted if deemed necessary.
Preserve CCTV images.
The Community in Donegal should be in possession of the Garda 24/ 7 contact number which covers their area and also be aware that Divisional Communications at Letterkenny Garda Station 0n 074-91-67100 provides a 24 / 7 service for the County.
District Headquarters Stations:
• Letterkenny : 074-91-67100
• Buncrana: 074-93-20540.
• Milford: 074-91-53114.
• Ballyshannon: 071-98-51102.
Remember 999/112 can also be used in an emergency.