Man charged over online classifieds fraud

A man has been extradited back to the Gold Coast from Melbourne to face fraud and stealing offences after he was allegedly running a scam involving buying cars on an online classifieds website, Queensland Police say.

During the offences it is alleged the man responded to online car advertisements claiming he was a doctor, even dressing up as one as he would go to inspect vehicles.

It will further be alleged he would make claims about depositing money into victims’ bank accounts by showing them a fake bank receipt.

A 23-year-old man from no fixed place of abode has been charged with 12 counts of fraud allegedly totalling approximately $100,000.00, six counts of stealing and one count each of forge and attempted fraud.

He is expected to face Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Detective Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro from the Gold Coast CIB – Northern Investigative Group said it was important for members of the public to remain vigilant when buying or selling items on the internet.

“One of the most important things to remember is only proceed with the sale if the buyer has the exact cash amount agreed upon their possession or you have actually received the money in your nominated bank account.

“Also ensure you sight and photograph relevant photo identification before completing any transaction.

“It is not a case of just the buyer be aware but also the seller,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Notaro.

Other tips for using online trade site:

•When purchasing property for sale which is of a high value, for example electronic devices, jewellery and digital equipment, ensure you record the serial or IMEI numbers of these items.
•If you are the buyer, request to obtain a proof of purchase or a copy of these serial or IMEI numbers. If you are unsure of the items validity, please contact your nearest police station to confirm the property being sold is not stolen.
•If the sale is vehicle related, ensure the sale is complying with Queensland Transport guidelines and regulations. All information with regards to the buying of selling vehicles can be found on the Queensland Transport website.
•Do not exchange property until the buyer can provide a proof of purchase. Please note a screen shot of an online internet transaction or receipt number is not proof of purchase.
•To prevent loss of property by theft ensure all property is recorded and identifiable serial numbers are recorded.
•You can visit your local police station to arrange a time with Volunteers in Policing to conduct a safety check of your house or premises.
•If you have been a victim of this type of crime please contact your local police station.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Crime Stoppers.

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