Locals in the popular Donegal sea side resort of Bundoran have been warned about a man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit who posed as a charity collector over the weekend.

Dressed in a festive red suit, the Santa Claus imposter was claiming to be collecting money for Bundoran Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Lifeboat as he solicited donations around the popular surf town over the weekend. The organization warned residents about the scammer on Monday morning.

Cormac McGurren, a volunteer fundraiser for the RNLI Lifeboat said the news was particularly disturbing.

“In this day and age and we would encourage anybody who is approached by this man to refuse to hand over any money to him and report him immediately to the local Gardai.

“Members of the RNLI doing any collection will always be carrying official RNLI branded buckets and wearing official clothing. We will shortly commence selling tickets for our annual dinner dance at the start of February but I can confirm that we currently have no collections operating in the Bundoran & Ballyshannon area,” McGurren said.

Afloat.ie reports that local police have been alerted and have issues notices through various social media pages.

Spokesman Shane Smyth appealed for residents to remain vigilant.

“The RNLI is a very respected and trusted organisation in the area and we are constantly relying on the generosity of locals to keep the service funded year round so that we can save lives at sea. An incident such as this is particularly unhelpful and we would ask people to be vigilant.”