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Large scale scam targeting golfing community

Police seek further victims to large scale scam targeting golfing community

Waikato Police investigating an alleged large scale fraud targeting the country's golfing community are warning people to be wary of a Hibiscus Coast based golfing magazine and are appealing for further victims to come forward.

Detective Simon Eckersley of the Waikato Fraud Squad said Waihi Police had been investigating one case of a credit card being 'double dipped' when it became apparent the issue was far more serious than officers had been led to believe.

"Initial investigations revealed a 63-year-old Orewa golfing magazine editor had defrauded dozens of golf clubs and individuals.

"Golfing New Zealand had already put out an email warning to clubs appealing for details but until our first complainant contacted Police we had no idea of the scale of offending."

Mr Eckersley said preliminary enquiries had shown one of the offender's scams involved selling golf shoes to clubs across the country.

"We understand the man ordered 1000 pairs of golf shoes and on-sold them to members of golf clubs in the Canterbury, Nelson, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Auckland areas. Some people received their shoes while many didn't while the supplier was also left out of pocket.

"One Auckland golf club had 40-50 members affected and we're now dealing with 67 independent victims who are both clubs and individuals from across the country. The alleged offender, who is linked to the golfing magazine NZ Golf Gazette, was targeting his victims through this publication."

Mr Eckersley said as Police came to grips with the scale of the offending it was becoming apparent there was likely to be several more victims and he urged people affected to make contact with Police.

"Often in such cases victims are embarrassed about having been fooled by such an offender but given the number of victims we've become aware of its important we speak to everyone affected as we build an accurate picture of what has been happening and work to prevent more victims.

"Anyone with any information on this man's activities is asked to contact me via the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200 or by email at simon.eckersley@police.govt.nz, your call will be treated in confidence."


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