Bundy buyers hit by scam sellers
DODGY dealings abound in Bundaberg, with police reporting a significant rise in scams and swindles.
“Scams are becoming more brazen and more regular,” Bundaberg Police Sergeant Grant Marcus said.
He said a Bundaberg man was left empty-handed and with an empty wallet after falling prey to a fraudulent online car ad recently.
Scammers appeared to be targeting people looking to buy or sell vehicles online, via popular sites including eBay, the Courier Mail and Trading Post, he said.
“The vehicles they are advertising have often been sold previously online, and the scammers are re-advertising in a different state,” he said.
“Often the scammers are overseas, so people need to be mindful of fraud if they are buying a particularly cheap car, or one where the owner says he has moved overseas and needs to sell in a hurry.”
Sgt Marcus said people should exercise extreme caution when sending money overseas or via electronic means, especially if they had not seen the actual vehicle.
In a variant on the scheme, a Bundaberg teacher lost $1000 when a fake buyer forged payment receipts then asked her to refund part of his payment for shipping.
But online scams were not the only problem reported — deceitful door-to-door salesmen and letters about make-believe inheritances have also made their way on to Bundaberg's doorsteps.
Sgt Marcus said police were aware of a scam letter circulating where residents were offered a large sum of money as a reward.
“A lady called in about a letter she had received from someone claiming the government was offering her a $5000 reward for paying her taxes on time,” he said.
“The letter said all she had to do was to deposit a small amount of money for fees, and the reward would be put into her bank account.”
Fortunately, the woman was savvy and contacted police.
Other frauds that have done the rounds include emails from a company promising the reader they have won an online lottery; another saying the recipient had won a British lottery; and a message claiming American company Fedex was waiting to give away cash.
A slightly more sophisticated scam also targeted Bundaberg businesses, by entering into a deal with them and then sending a cheque that far exceeded the agreed amount, in an effort to gain banking details.