Several fake trader websites have been shut down after police received a number of complaints from victims who were each defrauded after purchasing items online.
Police say the victims believed they were buying BBQs, fitness equipment and outboard motors, which were advertised on the legitimate looking websites at heavily discounted prices, however after they paid for the items, they never received them.
In July this year, police charged two Latvian nationals, a man and a woman, with 74 fraud related offences for their alleged roles in setting up and hosting a series of fake trader websites.
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Detectives from the Cyber and Identity Crime Unit have continued investigations and have since identified a new set of fake websites including: www.bbqcity.com.au, www.gardenoutdoorsales.com.au
and www.topmarineoutboard.com.au. They have all now been shut down.
“The websites appeared legitimate and advertised the heavily discounted sale of outdoor furniture, BBQ’s, outboard marine motors and fitness equipment,” Detective Acting Inspector Brad Hallett of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said in a statement.
“Anyone who wanted to purchase these items were asked to provide credit card details and also offered a further discount if payment was made via direct bank to bank transfers.
“Customers who paid the money never received the equipment”.
Police have since urged the public to be vigilant when shopping online and use only trusted websites and those that offer buyer protection.