People cold-calling on Matamata's elderly and pushing to do gardening work at high prices have prompted complaints from residents.
The workmen, who often go door to door, will offer their services and will want to be paid by cash or cheque.
Wardville woman Gloria Searle said she had a man turn up at her property two weeks ago offering to cut her trees for a few thousand dollars.
Searle said it wasn't the first time this had happened and what annoyed her was the man didn't make himself known when he entered the property. "They didn't come to the door, they came and checked out the property and waited for someone to come to them."
She said while it was just one man, he told her he had a few men ready to help him with the work. "He can ring up a number and they're there in such a short time that they must be local."
Searle said they also had a crew turn up offering to do their driveway.
The workman originally quoted $6000 for the job but quickly dropped it to $3000 when she wasn't interested.
Searle said they took the offer and that the workmen "seemed to have all the paperwork."
"They did it but it was extremely low standards."
She said within a few weeks the weeds started to grow through the driveway.
Searle and her husband told their son but there wasn't much to be done.
"It's such a shame that our elderly are so vulnerable," she said.
Searle said she prefers to deal with Matamata-based businesses to keep the money within the community.
Matamata Sergeant Graham McGurk said local police had about five or six cases of dodgy dealings reported to them each year.
"Basically it's a group of people that are not forceful but they are intimidating. They're not actually committing an illegal offence."
McGurk said if people felt intimidated they should call the police.
He also said his advice would be to ask for a tax invoice.
McGurk added that if you say no to them, legally speaking it is the end of the matter.
"Even if they do work without saying something, they can't charge you."
David Nicoll is a Wintec journalism student
- Waikato Times