Warning over fire extinguisher scam

Last updated 09:59 22/01/2014

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Police are warning Auckland businesses not to be duped by fraudsters posing as council workers trying to flog fire extinguishers.

In the latest instance of the scam, a man and woman claiming to be employees of Auckland City Council offered extinguishers to a business owner in East Tamaki.

When asked for identification, the scammer presented a yellow card with only a photo and name but no logo or business name.

The business owner became suspicious when one of the scammers insisted on a cash payment and eventually changed their story, saying they were from a company called Aerosfire.com.

Police found all companies associated with Aerosfire were American with no apparent links to New Zealand.

Throughout the incident the scammers became frustrated and verbally abusive as it was clear a sale was not going to be made.

When asked to leave they left in a white Toyota RAV4 with possibly four other family members inside.

Area Commander of Counties Manukau East Police Inspector Wendy Spiller said it was likely other businesses would be targeted.

"We want to ensure that no one gets conned by this scam, and so we are looking for as much information on the people involved to ensure we can identify them as soon as possible," she said.

"The business employee who was approached by the scammers in East Tamaki did the right thing by checking their identification and the legitimacy of the business.

''Anyone who has concerns about someone who approaches them wanting to do business should do the same thing and ensure they are dealing with a legitimate company otherwise contact police. We urge business owners to pass on information such as vehicle registration and description if they encounter any suspicious people."

Anyone who has been approached by the fraudsters should call Counties Manukau East police on 09 250 2800.

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