Foreign backpackers posing as art students are ripping off Christchurch residents by selling cheap art works for inflated prices, police say.
They are warning residents to be wary of the scam, where door-knockers claim to have painted artworks and sell them for several hundred dollars.
The artworks are actually mass-produced and can be bought online for a few dollars each, Acting Inspector Glenn Nalder says.
Police caught up with a pair of supposed art students, a male and a female, in the suburb of Cashmere on Tuesday night and may lay charges, he said.
Insp Nalder said falsely representing the paintings was an offence, while if they were convicted for obtaining by deception, they could face up to seven years' imprisonment.
Police also plan to share information about the scammers with Immigration officials, as they may be breaching immigration regulations.