A man disguised as a Rotarian collected gold coins at Camberwell market to fund his hedonistic lifestyle.
The con artist under name suppression told the court lurid tales of his adventures, “Once the money started coming in I couldn’t control myself. I spent at least $60 at Salvos.”
The accused used underhand tactics to get members of the public to contribute to his pot such as rattling his coins when people came near and making them feel guilty by pulling disapproving faces if they put silvers in. People who only wanted to walk through the market and get to Burke Rd were also put under intense pressure to contribute to the charity.
“I was trying to stick to my budget but when I was confronted by the coin jiggling I felt a strong compulsion to give him money. Then I started saying things like ‘Sorry it’s all I’ve got’ which was a total lie, I had at least $300 in my purse. I felt confused… later I regretted giving the money when I went to buy a latte.”
Con artist Rotarians are not the only people causing mayhem. On Burke Road young people in T-shirts with logos, identity cards around their neck and tell tale clipboards are also accosting the good people of Camberwell. The “Chuggers” (charity muggers) modus operandi is to use fake smiles and any eye contact possible as a reason to say, “Excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute?”
Camberwellians who are extremely polite, but also don’t want to give away any of their money, are doing anything to avoid these conversations. People are tilting their heads at strange angles, looking at the sky, crossing the road and also using other pedestrians as a human shield before making a quick getaway.
If you or anybody you know is suffering from mental scarring caused by giving money to Rotarians or “Chuggers” please dial our hot-line 1800-FEELINUSED. Our expert Dr Rudolph Van Der Shneebly has over 20 years experience counseling Collingwood supporters so can assist people who have hit rock bottom.