Queensland residents are being warned about hiring cheap rubbish removalists on social media after several locals fell victim to a scam.
Fraser Coast Regional Council urged residents to be vigilant when hiring a helping hand on social media, saying there are removalists offering their services, but not following through on their end.
"The removalists are offering cheap rates to collect rubbish and take it to the tip," the council said in a statement on Facebook.
"However, some are not doing the right thing and illegally dump the rubbish instead."
The scam has been operating on Facebook and, according to the council, multiple people in the area have fallen for it.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council's Illegal Dumping Officer has identified a scam operator and there is an investigation underway.
Yahoo News Australia understands nothing has come out of the investigation as of yet.
Dumped rubbish could cost residents up to $10,000
Due to the scam, large quantities of rubbish were dumped in the surrounding area, with an average of one case a day being reported to the council.
The sight of rubbish being callously dumped is "confronting", Deputy Mayor Paul Truscott said.
“Littering and illegal dumping is a serious issue that can cause great harm to our animals and ecosystems and can endanger human health," he said.
"They make our public places less enjoyable and are very expensive to clean up."
He added that fines for illegal dumping range from $2205 to $10,338 and there is a chance much higher penalties could apply if matters are prosecuted in court.
“It is much cheaper and easier for individuals to dispose of waste correctly," he added.
The council suggested residents ask for a receipt from the waste facility from the person they hire to dispose of their rubbish to prove of the disposal.
Rubbish linked back to a resident who can't prove they hired a contractor could see the fines land on their shoulders.
Cr Truscott said people should report illegal dumping if they see it, which can be done online, using the ‘Snap Send Solve’ app, or by calling Council on 1300 79 49 29.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.