Hastings police are seeking a scam artist who has been making
money out of convincing people looking to earn some money to
hand over $50.
The man has been moving around the greater Hastings area over
the past month approaching people under the guise of someone
who has connections in the employment industry and who can
find them a job - if they hand over a weekly fee of $50.
Flaxmere Community Constable Greg Andrew said he had caught
out "several" people who were desperate to find work and had
collected money from them.
"He comes across as very plausible - he knows what he's
doing," Mr Andrew said.
As well as locals he had been approaching overseas visitors
at backpackers and telling them he could find them some
holiday work - for a fee.
Mr Andrew said one of the man's popular spots was the Work
and Income carpark in Hastings as people arrived and left, as
well as making approaches to people in the central city and
"Several people have lost money after paying him in the
belief that he would find a job for them," Mr Andrew said.
"These are people who are trying to do the right thing and
find work - and it is particularly distressing for them as
they not only lose their money but they are given a false
hope that they will have a job," he said.
The man is described as Maori, in his early 50s, about 1.8m
(5 feet 11) tall, of solid build and balding.
He has been seen driving a silver Subaru sedan and on some
occasions he was accompanied by a woman when he approached
Mr Andrew said police were "very keen" to speak to the man
and offered some simple advice to anyone who found themselves
offered the opportunity of work in exchange for a $50 fee.
"Don't pay him any money and send him on his way."
Mr Andrew said there had been a scam running along the same
lines about two or three years ago.
He was not sure exactly how many people had been duped this
time around although the man had been active in many areas.
Anyone who has had dealings with the man, or thinks they may
know who he is, is asked to contact Mr Andrew at Flaxmere
Police Station on 831 0700.
Information can also be left anonymously on the Crimestoppers
- By Roger Moroney of the Hawke's Bay Today