A Merimbula man is probably rueing the day he used the internet for a currency exchange after he lost several thousand dollars to overseas fraudsters.
Inspector Jason Edmunds, of Bega Police has warned local residents to exercise caution in their dealings with internet companies after the Merimbula man lost $5000 in an internet fraud.
Inspector Edmunds said: “The victim was making arrangements to transfer Australian money into Thai currency and was dealing with a Thai company online.”
The transfer was never made and the man lost the entire $5000.
Inspector Edmunds cautioned: “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
Internet crimes and frauds have become a major issue for police throughout Australia. In 2012 the financial losses reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission totalled more than $93 million, a nine per cent increase from the previous year.
Inspector Edmunds said: “Internet fraud has become one of the biggest crime issues for Australians. A lot of people are losing money from their homes over the internet.”
The ACCC through its Scamwatch website (www.scamwatch.gov.au) offers a lot of advice about online transactions and email scams and points out that there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
The excellent Hoax Slayer website (www.hoax-slayer.com) also keeps up to date with scam emails and those irritating “pass this on” emails which often contain completely fabricated stories.