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Con Man in Moorabbin

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White Bros, Body Building and Blacksmith Shop, Moorabbin c1920.

God for notes, Fijian uncle, and grass-eating are some of the many schemes worked to gain money easy and despite the publicity given these happenings hardly a week passes but someone has realised too late his mistake in handing over hard earned money to total strangers. It is certain that the police are not advised of all the cases, for many people would not make public their foolish conduct.

One of the shrewd fraternity paid a visit to Moorabbin during the week, and he was well repaid for it. He made free with everyone he came in contact, and announced his intention of starting a coach factory. An endeavour was made to rent the old Moorabbin garage, but was unsuccessful. The shrewdy was referred to a building on Spring road. Arrangements were made for a lease of the latter, and it is alleged that on the production of the receipt for the first week’s rent he visited several persons, and after telling a plausible story obtained advances to pay for freight on machinery, etc. Meanwhile he had engaged several young men of the district to work for him at the wage of £4/15/ per week, and the hours were from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As a guaranteed that they would stay with him at least a month, he required a deposit of £2 from each. It is alleged the men willingly paid over the money, although the fact that they were not tradesmen should have made them suspicious at being engaged. They were put on to clearing the building for the installation of the plant, and were at work when their “employer” said that he would see about getting board for them. He was away for half and hour and it is alleged on return he told them he had arranged board at 30/ a week, but the money for the first week was required in advance. Strange to say this money was also forthcoming, and the first the employees knew of things not being straight was when they finished work at lunch time, and went round to the boarding house for their meals. The proprietress was much surprised when the men arrived at the place, and was as greatly indignant as the men when they realised they had been duped. Of course, their “employer” has not been seen since in the district; he has probably returned to the city to work out new schemes.

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Railway crossing on Point Nepean Road, Moorabbin c1920. Courtesy Public Transport Corporation



  • From the Moorabbin News, March 17, 1923.

Article Cat. Did You Know?
Article Ref. 327

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