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Queensland man accused of selling fictious items on Gumtree

A PARRAMATTA Park man who allegedly profited "well into the tens of thousands of dollars" by selling fictitious items on Gumtree over a six-month period has been granted bail.

Zachary Gordon Chapman fronted Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday charged with a string of 31 fraud offences police claim were committed against people from throughout Queensland and NSW.

It is alleged the 24-year-old used Gumtree to make false advertisements about items for sale, taking deposits and payments remotely and not supplying the advertised items.

Cairns CIB detectives, assisted by Far North District Tactical Crime Squad officers, executed search warrants at two addresses in recent days as part of the investigation.

Mr Chapman was taken into custody on Monday for the alleged offences committed between December 26 last year and the day of his arrest.

Far North police Detective Acting Inspector Jason Smith said police would allege the man had largely contributed to the region's spike in cyber crime.

Detective Acting Inspector Jason Smith. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Detective Acting Inspector Jason Smith. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"We have noticed an increase (in cyber crime) … we're very pleased to have this put before the courts," he said.

"One of his methods of operation was that he would respond to people that wanted to buy a product," Detective A/Insp Smith alleged.

"He would make contact and say that he had that item for sale.

"Once they sent payment the fictitious item was never sent.

"The (buyers) avoided transactions through things like PayPal, BPay, or their VISA and that made transactions a little bit harder to protect, and also made investigating slightly harder."

Detective A/Insp Smith urged members of the community to be vigilant when purchasing goods advertised online.

"Cyber crime is an issue, but it's important that people identify who they're buying from, they have confidence in that person," he said.

"There are risks with purchasing online, but there's also lots of information out there as to how people can avoid becoming a victim."

Mr Chapman is due to reappear in the Cairns Magistrates Court in August.

Originally published as Cairns man charged with alleged cyber-fraud spree



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