On­line scam robs cou­ple of $5000

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

An Aus­tralind woman is warn­ing other to be vig­i­lant af­ter her hus­band was scammed out of more than $5000 af­ter “pur­chas­ing” a boat mo­tor from a fraud­u­lent web­site.

The woman said the elab­o­rate web­site looked pro­fes­sional, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from a money back guar­an­tee state­ment to a gold lock sym­bol to sig­nify it was a “se­cure site”.

“You had to set up an ac­count, he put in an or­der and he re­ceived an email to con­firm the or­der had gone through and that pay­ment was asked for within 12 hours,” she said.

“You could pro­ceed with a credit card or bank trans­fer and there was a 15 per cent dis­count for a bank trans­fer.

“He took the bank trans­fer op­tion and trans­ferred the money into an ac­count and there was no fur­ther cor­re­spon­dence.”

The cou­ple then made at­tempts to con­tact the “busi­ness”, but the 1300 num­ber pro­vided was dis­con­nected and emails to the var­i­ous ad­dresses pro­vided bounced back.

“We are kick­ing our­selves... it was too good to be true,” the woman said.

“The en­gi­neers from my hus­band’s work were look­ing at it yes­ter­day and they could not be­lieve it was a scam web­site.

“In hind­sight, we should not have used the bank trans­fer... if we had have done it through the credit card there would have been a chance at get­ting the money back through in­sur­ance. “I don’t want it to hap­pen to any­body else and it could be po­ten­tially hap­pen­ing to peo­ple now.”

Con­sumer pro­tec­tion re­gional co­or­di­na­tor An­netta Bellingeri warned con­sumers look­ing for great deals on­line this fes­tive season to be aware.

“This year our WA ScamNet team has re­ceived re­ports about fake web­sites sell­ing ev­ery­thing from toys to bar­be­cues and out­board mo­tors,” she said.

“Of­ten the big­gest tip-off that a retail web­site is a scam is the method of pay­ment.

“Scam­mers will of­ten ask you to pay us­ing a money or­der, pre-loaded money card, di­rect bank de­posit or wire trans­fer, but if you send your money this way, it’s un­likely you will see it again or re­ceive your pur­chased item.”

Miss Bellingeri warned shop­pers to con­sider the risks if there is no phys­i­cal ad­dress, phone con­tact de­tails or ABN.

Visit www.scamnet.wa.gov.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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