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Alleged text message scammer charged

Alleged text message scammer charged

August 4, 2011

The Auckland City District Police Financial Crime Unit has investigated multiple complaints from Trade Me members who paid for non-existent iPhones and iPads after being contacted by a text message scammer.

The 24-year-old female alleged scammer was arrested and appeared in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, August 2, charged with accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose. Investigations are continuing and she has been remanded to reappear on August 23 when further charges are likely to be laid.

She has been remanded in custody on unrelated matters to appear on Friday August 5.

Police have been working on an arrest for some time and acknowledge the assistance of the team at Trade Me, including the initial tip-off about the text scamming activity.

The website’s Trust and Safety manager Jon Duffy said it was good to see an arrest made.

“We’ve put considerable time and effort into this investigation and it’s good to see things are progressing. It’s also a timely reminder for people not to post their details online and to do their due diligence about sellers when trading.

"Deals done by text message are not going to be accompanied by the protections that a trade on a safe and trusted marketplace like Trade Me provides, something that we work hard on delivering to our members.”

To assist in protecting themselves against scams, Police also recommend members of the public visit the website www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams which provides information on a variety of different scams and the facility to report new scams.

ENDS

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