A property owner in Australia has allegedly lost up to $20,000 Australian dollars after a group of people, believed to be Irish, abused her and wrecked the property they were renting from her in Brisbane.
Australian police released CCTV images of nine suspects who have been scamming small businesses and elderly people along the Gold Coast.
Clara Carmichael, a property owner, says that she was a victim of the group and that they subjected her to abuse. Speaking on RTÉ's Liveline programme on Radio One yesterday, she said that she rented four units to four families late last year.
"We first came across them late last year, maybe September, October when a group of four different families who were all friends rented apartments in one of the buildings that I own and run," she said.
While initial ID checks and references seemed fine, things took a turn for the worse when the tenants moved in.
"We had a lot of complaints from other tenants, they were terrorising other people in the building, people were scared to come and go,"she added.
Collecting rent was "horrific weekly task" she said.
"There was one family who knew they were going to have to leave because they owed so much money so instead of just leaving they decided to trash the apartment and leave in the middle of the night, blocking the plumbing and the toilets with potatoes, punching holes in walls and breaking holes in bathroom tiles," she said.
The group left abusive texts and voice messages to Ms Carmichael, with one played on the radio: "You're a dirty, smelly Australian slapper," said the man in the message, who claimed to be called Edward Connors.
Police are investigating and are asking anyone with information about the people involved in the scams to contact Policelink on 131 444.