Top five Central Queensland scams
1. The Katy Perry scam
ROCKHAMPTON resident James Lindley thought it was his lucky day when a beautiful young woman contacted him through Facebook.
But when the woman, posing with the name Amelia Bailey, sent a photo of herself to James, she was busted.
One of James's friends realised the photo was of superstar Katy Perry, and the messages to James were leading to a potential money scam.
James said he didn't know why a beautiful young thing like that would be interested in a 74-year-old.
James, a mature-aged university student, said he didn't even know who Katy Perry was when he got the photo.
"At first the messages were about how she saw my name and figured we might have the same relatives down the line.
"Then she told me she was from Canada, then Rockhampton, but lived in Ireland and needed money to come home to Australia," James said.
"You'd have to be desperate to fall for a story like that."
2. Cheap caravan deal scam
AN INTERNATIONAL advertising scam that is being investigated nation-wide recently reached CQ.
It seemed like a deal too good to be true - and that's because it was.
A seller, claiming to be from Rockhampton, listed a 2007 caravan for $14,000 the Morning Bulletin's notices.
The scam is connected to a three-year long scour involving an international shipping company that has been undesirably associated.
The phone connected to the ad has an automated message bank.
The seller contacts the person interested, saying they are in the UK and the caravan was left to them from their deceased uncle.
He then explains it is located at the Mediterranean Shipping Company Fremantle office and can be delivered anywhere in Australia for free.
Yet MSC, a cargo shipping company, does not deliver motor vehicle goods, and never has.
MSC senior risk analyst Dorain Moga said for three years they have fielded calls from people interested in seeing a car, motorbike or boat that is at one of their offices.
3. The 'looking for love' scam
SOME Rockhampton men are looking for love in all the wrong places.
A man, aged in his 20s, joined a growing number of Rockhampton victims caught by online dating scams.
North Rockhampton police station officer-in-charge Snr Sgt Ben Carroll said the man walked in to tell police his story of love woe.
"He was a tradesman, was doing quite well for himself through hard work and saving his pennies, only to lose a small fortune," Snr Sgt Carroll said.
"The young fellow logged into a dating website looking for company. Over time he forged a friendship with an attractive female purporting to be from the Philippines.
"To him, everything appeared legitimate. They had a lot in common, he said
"Everything he enjoyed, she did too. They wanted the same out of life; friendship, a family, happiness. He spoke with the female on the phone on numerous occasions but never on Skype or similar video cam sites. Once she gained his confidence she asked for some money to help buy an item she couldn't afford.
"Little amounts grew into bigger amounts, and over time the fellow had sent her thousands of dollars. She was to travel to Australia to meet him.''
She never turned up.
4. The pub con artist
BILL Robertson says he was just a "dumb, gullible bushie" when he paid an airfare for a man posing as a gold miner who had lost his luggage.
Mr Robertson said he forked out more than $1000 for the man, who went by the name "Kelvin James".
He claimed to be a gold miner from the Northern Territory who had lost his luggage including cash and ID cards in transit and was stuck in town.
He stayed at the Red Lion Hotel where he befriended patrons, telling them he earned $78.50 an hour, working 12-hour days and 28-days in a row.
Over two weeks he joined the drinking circle at the pub, telling patrons he was a specialist in operating "mono pumps" for underground mining. Mr Robertson said there was no such thing.
Kelvin told one patron he had lined up a mining job for him and the man had gone to get a medical check-up in preparation for it.
Mr Robertson said he extended an "old-fashion helping hand" to Kelvin, first paying to have his luggage flown back to Rockhampton, and paying for a $600 air ticket so he could go back to work in the Northern Territory.
But after taking the cash Kelvin left the hotel without paying for his room and was never heard from again.
5. The 'lopping away at your cash' scam
A GROUP of New Zealand tree loppers knocking on Rockhampton doors for work ripped plenty of residents off.
Local tree lopper Cameron James, from Ability Vegetation Service, said a number of his clients had been approached by the traders who offered them instant service, but for double the price.
"An old couple were approached by them and quoted $2000 for a tree to be cut down," he said.
"Most Rocky boys would do that job for about $400.
"They target people who are vulnerable."
Mr James said while doorknocking wasn't an issue, the persistent nature of these tree loppers and high prices were breaches of the Fair Trading Act.
He said there had been similar cases down south, but it was the first time he had heard of it in Rockhampton.