A group of Irish tourists are fleecing elderly Queensland residents out of thousands of dollars with bogus agreements to fix roofs and driveways, police say.
The group of nine men and women are also accused of using their young children to steal items from shops, and of scamming free meals from restaurants by pretending to find glass or hair in their food.
Police say they are investigating 12 complaints on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
“The nature of these matters appear to have some connection,” Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming told reporters on Saturday.
“We’ve got a team of people actively looking for these people at the moment.”
He said the men appeared to be targeting elderly home owners by taking payments for house repairs but never finishing the work.
On one occasion five males fleeced more than $25,000 from an elderly man over an unfulfilled promise to fix his roof, he said.
The women are accused of distracting shop attendants while their children put stolen items in a pram.
Both the men and women have been reported to police for scamming food by claiming they found hair in their meal, or that a piece of glass cut their mouth.