BE ALERT: Scammers have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
BE ALERT: Scammers have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scammers are targeting vulnerable locals amid Covid-19

'BITUMEN bandits' have resurfaced in the Coffs-Clarence area, in what police have warned is just one example of scams targeting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coffs-Clarence Police have urged locals to be aware of these shonky tradies who are offering to resurface or repair bitumen driveways at a cheap price, but are instead leaving people out of pocket.

These scammers have varied approaches, but generally state in their sales pitch that they have bitumen left over from a previous job.

The completed work is instead of poor standard with the bitumen having been watered down, which adds up to be a considerable cost to the victim as the substandard material must be removed for corrective work to be done.

On some occasions these shonky tradies quote a low cost before demanding higher payment during the work.

Over the last few months, Queensland Police received numerous reports of a group of men with 'Irish' accents targeting neighbourhoods throughout the state.

Last week, there were claims business owners in Grafton were also being targeted by a group of men with Irish accents.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen or had contact from these tradespeople are urged to contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

NSW Police have also this week warned there's been an increase in unscrupulous lenders claiming to be able to 'fix' debt problems without paying the full amount.

According to police these organisations advertise widely and often appear as though they are legitimate businesses.

"If you buy a product and get in to debt - it's your responsibility. Please think of this before making a purchase," NSW Police said in a statement.

"Police cannot assist an individual with financial issues that are a result of personal decisions."

Members of the community who may be in financial distress are urged to consult ASIC's Money Smart website, which provides guidance on making smarter financial decisions and also provides a list of companies to avoid.