Police shut down fake trader websites claiming Queensland victims

Detectives from State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group have shut down three fake trader websites following a number of victim complaints, Queensland Police say.

In July, police arrested two Latvian nationals for their alleged role in setting up and hosting a series of fake trader websites.

The man and woman were charged with 74 fraud related offences. It is believed amongst the 26 victims, 14 Queenslanders lost money on the sites which advertised cheap BBQs, fitness equipment and outboard motors. The sites were subsequently shut down.

Detectives from the Cyber and Identity Crime Unit have continued to investigate these crimes and have since identified a new set of fake websites.

The following websites have been identified as fake and subsequently shut down:

www.bbqcity.com.au

www.gardenoutdoorsales.com.au

www.topmarineoutboard.com.au

“The websites appeared legitimate and advertised the heavily discounted sale of outdoor furniture, BBQ’s, outboard marine motors and fitness equipment.

“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,” Detective Acting Inspector Brad Hallett of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.

Police warn the public to be vigilant when shopping online and use only trusted websites and those that offer buyer protection.

If you or anyone you know has visited one of these sites and attempted to purchase, you are encouraged to report via the ACORN website at www.acorn.gov.au

The Fraud and Cyber Crime Group encourages you to ask “R U in Control?”, a reminder to be vigilant in order to stay safe online.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

/Public Release.