POLICE will allege a fraudster used secondhand website Gumtree and false mobile phone payments to prey on at least 10 victims from suburbs including Bayswater, Wembley, Perth, Belmont, Joondalup and Cannington recently.
It would be alleged the fraudster contacted people selling property on Gumtree and organised a meeting at a café, park or a car park.
A fake transfer of money on a mobile telephone would be shown to the seller of goods, which included bicycles, jewellery and televisions, which police suspect were later sold for drugs.
“Prevention of this is common sense really, as cash is king, so people need to wary with these sorts of purchases and whether there is a fraudulent mobile phone application out there,” Constable Dan Lodge said.
“We will allege he would show the phone’s screen and say “I’ll transfer the money now. It’s successful. There you go’.”
The item with the greatest value was a $9600 voucher for jewellery.
“The Perth CBD shop changed the identity for that voucher that day it was sold,” Const Lodge said.
Any victims, five of who came from Bayswater, who inquired about the money not reaching their account were given “the run around” by the alleged fraudster.
“The interesting thing about this man was that him, or someone he knew, would allegedly continue the conversation with the people when they phoned him, saying the money would soon arrive,” Const Lodge said.
However, several victims were suspicious even before the false sales were made, and they called police who raided a Tenth Avenue, Maylands home on May 1.
A Maylands man (25) was charged with eight counts of gaining benefit by fraud, and he has been bailed to reappear at Perth Magistrates Court on May 29.