Scams targeting the Coffs Coast

The NSW Government's Scam Buster program is warning residents and visitors to the Coffs Coast.
The NSW Government's Scam Buster program is warning residents and visitors to the Coffs Coast.

COFFS Coast residents and international travellers seeking work locally are falling victim to two separate scams, which authorities are investigating.

The first is a phone scam targeting locals, where the caller poses as an employee of the Department of Fair Trading calling to inform them about a refund, which they are owed by one of the major banks.

"They say that in order to receive the money they are owed people need to deposit money for administrative purposes, via Western Union, to individuals or into banks accounts," Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe warned.

"NSW Fair Trading does not cold call consumers and does not request payment via phone calls.

Mr Stowe said a Macksville resident recently paid almost $2000 via Western Union to callers using false names and phoning from New Delhi.

She was told she would receive $5800 in bank fees from two banks in Australia.

"A consumer in Coffs Harbour was given the details of an Australian bank account to pay money into, so Fair Trading is determined to talk to whoever owns that account," he said.

The second scam under investigation has targetted backpackers looking for casual work on the Coffs Coast.

Staff from a local hostel have warned travellers about the scam operating on where backpackers are asked to make an upfront payment to secure accommodation and a fruit picking job.

The ad is titled "Farm Workers Wanted" and calls on people to deposit $150 into a bank account to cover accommodation at the hostel.

The ad promises to refund the money after the first week of work, but backpackers have arrived in Coffs Harbour only to discover they have fallen victim to a scam.

"We have reported the scam to Coffs Harbour police and some backpackers have done the same, so far I know of 10 backpackers who fell for the scam," the hostel warned backpackers via facebook.

"They said at the time when they read the advert on Gumtree the page had over 1,000 hits.

"The ad has now been removed, but whenever an advert is removed (they) open another one."

Topics:  backpackers scams

Fisher who exploited Indonesian fishing crew fined $48,000

An Indonesian fishing crew has been underpaid almost $50,000.

Tuna fishing company fined almost $50,000 for underpaying crew

Inner-regional Australians most likely to develop cancer

Figures attributed to an ingrained culture of risky behaviour

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E11 - top three battle it out

The Bachelorette finalists, from left, Matty Johnson, Lee Elliott and Jake Ellis.

It's Matty, Lee or Jake. Who will Georgia choose?

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Politicians promise homebuyers a helping hand

PROMISE: Canberra has plans to address housing affordability.

How Coffs can help fix housing affordability

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June