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Christchurch Police warn of door-to-door art scam

Christchurch Police warn of door-to-door art scam

Scammers trying to sell cheap art works for inflated prices are again targeting Christchurch residents.

Police are warning householders to be wary of the scam, which usually involves young foreign backpackers going door-to-door representing themselves as art students.

Acting Inspector Glenn Nalder of Christchurch Police says the "students", who come from a variety of countries, attempt to pass the paintings off as their own work, selling them for several hundred dollars apiece.

"The paintings are actually mass-produced and can be purchased online for a few dollars each," he says.

"These groups have been active in Christchurch recently. Police received a report earlier this week of people going door to door trying to sell the paintings.

"Last night police caught up with a pair in the Cashmere area. Inquiries are continuing in relation to the man and woman spoken to - and we have not ruled out charging the pair," says Acting Inspector Nalder.

"Falsely representing the paintings is an offence and may result in arrest. Obtaining by deception is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment."

Police will also sharing information about these people with the New Zealand Immigration Service.

"Often the scammers are in breach of immigration regulations. Police will liaise with the Immigration Service who may also take action."

Police urge residents to turn away people selling art door to door.

ENDS

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