Maryborough residents falling prey to online scams

MARYBOROUGH police are warning people to be careful when exchanging money and personal details because at least two people a week report being scammed online.

On Tuesday, a man told Maryborough police he had been scammed out of almost $20,000 after trying to buy a $32,000 Winnebago online.

Soon after two deposit payments adding up to $16,000, the man lost all contact with the alleged dealer as well as the vehicle's transport details.

Last wee,k two people went to Maryborough Police's counter with identical, professional-looking letters from Malaysia that stated recently deceased members of each family had left unclaimed security interests and money deposits overseas.

Acting Sergeant Matt Walker said once money or information was sent overseas, there was not much police could do.

"People should only purchase from reputable sites," Sgt Walker said.

"If people are making payments to accounts overseas it would set off alarm bells for me straight away - if it happens in Australia there's more we can do to track it down."

Romance scams are also a real danger, with people - often from African countries - meeting their victims online, professing their love then asking for cash.

Last year, 1032 Australians admitted losing not just their hearts but also their money to these scammers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported almost $28 million in a year was taken in total, almost $75,000 a day.

If you think you have fallen victim to a fraudster, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and report it to http://www.scamwatch.gov.au

Stay safe

The ACCC website offers the following tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Never provide your financial details or send funds to someone you've met online
  • Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos. Scammers often use fake photos found online
  • Be wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or the phone to avoid detection


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