WARNING ON WEB AUCTIONS
Auctions over the internet are proving fertile ground for fraudsters say Christchurch Police.
Detective Craig FARRANT of the Christchurch Fraud Squad says that there have been two arrests recently of people who advertised fictitious items and used bogus named bank accounts, resulting in the thefts of several thousands of dollars.
Web auction sites allow for the public to advertise goods for sale. The buyer and seller can then chose to either deal directly with each other over payment or go through a `middle man’ provided by the web site which allows for some security. The seller does not get paid until the buyer has received the goods and is satisfied that they are indeed what they purchased. One recent arrest involved $4000 says Detective FARRANT.
"Offenders advertise fictitious goods, have a bogus named bank account and suggest to the buyer that they cut out the `middle man’. When the money is deposited they do a runner and are generally untraceable. Obviously no goods are forwarded."
Detective FARRANT advises people using web site auctions to be aware that there is always the possibility of a scam and use what protection there is, even if they have to pay a small fee.
"It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately there are always people who will take advantage of any new situation to rip someone else off."