BY IAN CROUCH
Hunter beachgoers are being warned about a scam where victims are robbed of their mobile phones and then blackmailed to get them back.
Fairfax media reports a 19-year-old woman from Wangi Wangi had her iPhone 6 stolen at Bar Beach on Australia Day - she then paid $300 to get it back from the thieves.
A second woman fell for the same scam at Newcastle Beach two weeks ago costing her $400, while a Belmont man is out of pocket $250 after his phone and keys were stolen at Blacksmiths Beach.
Police are urging swimmers to report thefts and not to negotiate with the thieves who are described as being two men aged in their late teens or early 20s.