Police advise people to be on the lookout for fraudulent online transactions.
Wellington Police are seeing an increase in fraudulent online transactions as the return to level 2 allows the resumption of online merchandise trade.
In a statement, police said they had received several reports of buyers using fake bank transfer statements and forged digital documents to confirm payments had been made.
Police statistics would probably only tell part of the story, as many people did not report the scam out of embarrassment, but the police urged people to report any suspicious activity to give them the best chance. to catch offenders.
“We are actively targeting offenders who commit volume and fraud offenses and will hold them accountable for their actions,” police said.
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Wellington’s mother, Carmen Arquier, took to the Facebook marketplace to sell her 12-year-old son’s headphones.
She was contacted by a woman who told her she needed it for her studies and could pay by bank transfer.
While showing up masked at the work of Arquier’s husband, she showed a confirmation of the bank transfer “so he gave her the headphones”.
The money never reached Arquier’s account and soon the woman stopped resending messages and answering calls.
“She seemed level, she even asked us to let her know if the money wasn’t going through because it had happened to her before,” Arquier said.
The family did some research online, including looking for a name they saw on the wire transfer document, and quickly found other cases of dissatisfied traders on their accounts.
“When my husband used his name [from banking details] on a txt, she responded very suspiciously, asking how we knew her name, ”Arquier said.
After a week without the money arriving, including the woman failing to show up for a meeting to pay cash for the headphones, they filed a complaint with the police.
“I really hope they will do something because if she can do it so easily, she can do it to a lot of people,” Arquier said.
Police said sellers should not hand over goods until they see the money in their account and verify that the transaction has cleared their bank.
“Communicate with the buyer and consider dealing in cash only. Trust your instincts. If it’s too good to be true or if it sounds like a scam, it probably is, and there will always be another opportunity to trade, ”police said.
Police have advised people buying and selling online to use sites such as Trade Me and legitimate stores or businesses.
Trade Me Trust and Security Officer Lisa Kerr said “you’d be crazy to try anything fishy on our site.”
“We have sophisticated systems in place and you leave deep electronic footprints on our site that can be traced,” Kerr said.
Thirty Wellington staff members monitored the site around the clock for any scams or unwanted behavior, Kerr said.
“We don’t want bastards using our site. “
LAWRENCE SMITH / Tips
Sally Lin is a freshman at TUE who was the victim of a $ 70,000 overseas phone scam.