MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Con Men on the move

					                                    TOWN OF VINCENT


MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issue Date:    Thursday, August 05, 2004

                                   Con Men on the move

Nigel Lilley, the Registrar with the Painters' Registration Board, has issued an alert to
all WA local governments, including the Town of Vincent, warning there is mounting
evidence that gypsy criminal gangs are once again in Western Australia preying on the
elderly and other vulnerable groups in the Perth metropolitan and regional areas.
       Vincent CEO John Giorgi said the Town had been told groups such as the ‘English
Gypsies’ were already well known to the Painters Registration Board and had been
investigated and prosecuted by police and the Department of Consumer and Employment
Protection on a number of occasions.
       "I would ask anyone who sees a sign similar to the one shown to ring the Town
immediately on 9273 6000, or after hours 9273 6061, and a ranger will be sent as soon as
possible to remove it," said Mr Giorgi.
       "The quicker we can remove the signs the better."
       It is believed that many of the men, using a number of aliases, are wanted by
authorities for a variety of scams both here and interstate. Groups of up to a dozen members
of these gypsy gangs are known to pose as itinerant house painters and bitumen layers to dupe
the unwary out of vast sums of money for shoddy roof and house painting.
       Mr Lilley advised that this group was very well organised and has the ability to swoop
on suburbs in a well-coordinated operation.



 Administration and Civic Centre                                   PO Box 82
 244 Vincent Street                                                LEEDERVILLE WA 6902
 LEEDERVILLE WA 6007                                               Telephone: (08) 9273 6000
                                                                   Facsimile: (08) 9273 6099
                                                                   TTY: (08) 9273 6078
       "These men are very smooth operators who can amass many hundreds of thousands of
dollars by duping pensioners out of their life savings," said Mr Lilley.
       "They are totally unscrupulous. We know of instances in the past where these gangs
have demanded ‘forgotten’ payments totalling tens of thousands of dollars from dementia
sufferers for shoddy house painting, where a house was sprayed with water to dupe a couple
with poor eyesight out of $15,500, and a woman with an intellectual disability was conned
into paying $8,000 to have an internal wall repaired with what amounted to a plank of wood
with 8 screws."
       "Although there are many honest, competent painters and repairers operating
throughout WA these men are definitely not among them."
       The Painters Registration Board advises all consumers not to deal with anyone that
does not have an Identification Card from the Board. If there is any doubt regarding a painters
credentials it is advisable to contact the Board on (08) 9476 1212 or to check using the
Board's register at www.prb.org.au . It also worth remembering that, under WA law, door-to-
door salesmen can not take any money before the 10-day cooling off period for a contract
worth more than $50.

AUTHORISED BY:           MAYOR NICK CATANIA, Mobile 0438 181 245
ENQUIRIES:               LINDY MARKES, MARKETING/PR OFFICER
PHONE:                   (08) 9273 6011 Mobile: 0438 407 776




 Administration and Civic Centre                                     PO Box 82
 244 Vincent Street                                                  LEEDERVILLE WA 6902
 LEEDERVILLE WA 6007                                                 Telephone: (08) 9273 6000
                                                                     Facsimile: (08) 9273 6099
                                                                     TTY: (08) 9273 6078

				
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Description: MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Con Men on the move