WANGARATTA’S tranquil Bank Street has become like “Grand Central Station” on weekends, thanks to a scam luring fruit pickers to the area.
The would-be workers have been turning up to the quiet street near Painter’s Island Caravan Park at all hours on weekends expecting to find accommodation many of them had paid for in advance, after responding to an ad on the Gumtree website.
They also expect to get work at a district orchard.
But there is no work and no accommodation.
In fact the property they arrive at is a vacant block of land.
Neighbors in the quiet street have been left to tell the fruit pickers they’ve been scammed – some to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
And their frustration is growing, with a car left dumped near the block of land and the frequent visits from fruit pickers becoming more than an annoyance.