Wednesday, June 4, 2008

eBay users arrested after fraud complaints

QUEENSLAND police say they have tracked down 23 repeat offenders responsible for about half the state's reported fraud complaints from eBay online auction users.

Last May, the state's fraud squad launched a world-first website allowing Australian eBay customers to report online fraud.

Previously, eBay customers whose purchases did not arrive or were not what they expected could only complain to local police.

Police often found the problem could have been easily resolved between the two parties, but in cases of criminal fraud they had difficulties investigating offenders in other jurisdictions.

Police Minister Judy Spence today told State Parliament that under the new system, 416 matters had been reported – 60 per cent by Queensland victims about offenders from the same state.

9 per cent related to interstate offenders falsely claiming to be in Queensland, and 31 per cent related to overseas offenders.

Police identified 23 Queensland-based offenders, who accounted for up to 50 per cent of the complaints.

Ms Spence said most had been arrested, with one man charged with 33 offences and another charged with 48 offences.

"A Victorian man is also currently under investigation, after he allegedly conned more than 3000 victims Australia-wide into purchasing holidays which didn't exist," Ms Spence said.

Queensland Police's online service allows users across Australia to report cases of fraud to the relevant police department in their state.


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