There are reports that quite a few Queenslanders have been falling for the latest scam, where heavily discounted items are listed for sale but never delivered once payment is made.
State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group is working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network to track down the source of these sites.
Police say cut price BBQS, outboard motors, air conditioners and gym equipment are listed for sale in return for a cash payment. Victims handed over their hard earned dollars, only to be left sorely disappointed.
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“Firstly I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge those who have reported the matter to ACORN to allow us to investigate these matters. At this stage we have received 126 reports in relation to 27 separate websites. We anticipate somewhere in the vicinity of $110,000 has been lost so far, however we expect this figure to rise,” Acting Detective Inspector Peter Robb said.
“We believe a man and a woman who may be able to assist us with our investigation are currently in Brisbane and we are seeking the public’s support on two fronts. If you have any information relating to the people pictured, we’d ask you to call Policelink. We also ask that if you have fallen victim to this type of scam or any other online scam, to report the matter to ACORN.”
Police have since worked with hosting agencies to take down the websites, but are concerned there may be more websites and even more victims.
“We would also encourage the public to stay vigilant when shopping online and remember if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. By shopping online at sites that you know are trusted and using established payment systems that offer buyer protection, you can protect yourself from falling victim to these scams,” Acting Detective Inspector Robb said.
For online shopping tips, visit the Office of Fair Trading website.
The fake websites since taken down by police include:
Anyone who has fallen victim to any type of cybercrime can use the ACORN online reporting facility.