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Australians charged in Nigerian scam

January 7, 2009 – 4:03PM

Two Queenslanders have been charged over recruiting people to a Nigerian scam which netted the fraudsters more than $4.3 million.

 

Police said the Sunshine Coast man, 48, and woman, 40, were initially victims of the operation, having been invited to take part in a bogus contract involving the Nigerian oil industry.

 

They began sending money to the scammers in September 2003.

 

Police allege they later invited others to become involved in the scheme.

 

It’s believed 12 people sent more than $4.3 million overseas.

 

The pair have each been charged with two counts of fraud and will appear at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

 

Police Minister Judy Spence said people needed to be more wary of potential scams, with people continuing to be stung despite warnings.

 

She said some people who had already sent money even continued to send cash after speaking to police.

 

“In this global financial crisis, people looking for an easy way out of their financial and mortgage stress can make for easy victims for these fraudsters who promise a quick return,” Ms Spence said.

 

“People, even those doing it tough, need to realise there is no such thing as easy money and any scheme that promises massive returns for a small investment will inevitably turn out to be a scam that could cost a victim their entire life savings.”

 

Meanwhile, police are warning businesses against scams using fake credit cards and identification to buy gift cards.

 

Fraud and Corporate Crime Group Detective Superintendent Brian Hay said four Malaysian men were arrested on Tuesday over the ‘shopping gang’ scam.

 

“This is becoming a crime that is increasing nationally at an alarming rate,” Supt Hay said.

 

“Shopping gangs will target retailers and purchase multiple gift or store cards or multiple quantities of high end goods.

 

“The gangs will use fake driver’s licence, usually from NSW or Victoria, and credit cards with skimmed data to purchase the products.”

 

He asked retailers to report suspicious behaviour to police.

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January 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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