THEY are always lurking around and people can easily be swayed by their sweet talk.
Conning people has become a source of income for some people for their daily survival.
Their sweet talk comes in all forms and people easily fall for it.
Like other issues affecting people daily, being conned by someone also has an effect on a person's pockets.
With conning on the rise, as revealed by police, The Fiji Times gives you a bit of an insight today on the "con jobs" and how you can avoid being conned.
IT is an easy way for some people to make money for their livelihood.
These people are sweet talkers, who easily make others believe what they say.
And it is only when people do not get the required services or things that they realise they were conned by the sweet talkers.
Conning others is a source of income for some people, who just depend on it for their day to day survival.
While some con people by selling fake jewellery and other items on the streets, there are others who swindle people with their sweet talk.
There are some who sell fake raffle tickets on the streets while others collect money for someone's medical treatment or to build a house.
Some people easily fall into the sweet talk of the "con man" or "con woman" and give money, thinking it will help change someone's medical condition or provide shelter.
Recently, some people gave money to people approaching them via telephone and promising to arrange public service vehicle licenses for them.
But top of the list as far as the "con jobs" are concerned is the fake travel agents, who promise people to arrange their passports and visas.
Despite numerous advice and warnings by the authorities in the past, people are still falling into the trap of these con artists. However, while some of those conned do not report the matter to police, some who gave substantial amounts of money for passports and visas do.
Criminal Investigations Department director Senior Superintendent of Police Vakacegu Toduadua said police continue to receive reports on fake travel agents.
SSP Toduadua said people easily fall into the sweet talk of those approaching them and promising to arrange passports and visas in exchange for money.
"These people are professionals, they are sweet talkers, they are professional con men," he said.
In the past, people who were conned by fake travel agents could not get their money back while the con man was only charged by police and prosecuted in court.
But with the Proceeds of Crime Act in place now, the con man or con woman will be responsible to reimburse their victims the money they "milked" from them.
This will be done by way of the seizure of their properties, including those that they bought for their immediate family members and relatives.
SSP Toduadua said police would have to act quickly on reports of people being conned by others, saying police now have the powers to seize the properties, which should be a warning enough for con artists.
HOW TO AVOID BEING CONNED:-
* Don't fall for the sweet talk of people approaching you to sell things, which can be mostly fakes.
* Don't believe and give money to people who approach you with the promise of arranging passports or visas overseas.
* Try not to be too sympathetic with people approaching you to collect money for certain things.
* Don't make quick decisions about buying things from people approaching you - always get another opinion from someone.
* If in need of a passport or visa to travel overseas, then go to the Immigration Department or the respective embassies.
WHAT POLICE CAN DO:-
* Seize properties of fake travel agents.
* Freeze the bank accounts of fake travel agents.
* Seize tainted properties of the fake travel agents, which include things that are in the office.
* Seize alternate properties of the fake travel agents, which are things purchased for their immediate family members or relatives from the money obtained by conning.