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Police bust Australian money mule in term deposit scam

Term deposit scam news

Police have secured the upper hand over an alleged scammer’s bid to dupe Kiwis out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now, Police are urging victims to act quickly if they suspect they have been the victim of a scam for the best chance of having their funds recovered.

Auckland City CIB’s Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Bolton says, for one Gore victim, their swift actions have led to more than just having their funds back safe in the bank.

“In early June, Police received a report of what was believed to be a fraudulent transaction being made from a bank involved.

“The victim reported the matter on Monday 3 June after his bank contacted him with concerns about a payment he had made into another New Zealand account.”

The transaction was for $40,000.

“Following information received from this victim, Police making enquiries into the scam identified a man believed to be involved,” Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says.

“The 30-year-old Australian citizen visiting Auckland Central was arrested earlier this month and has since been charged with four counts of engaging in money laundering.

“The man has been remanded in custody and is next due to reappear on 6 August 2024.

“These charges relate to two victims at opposite ends of the country.”

While this is a great result, unfortunately, the reality of these types of damaging scams has seen the other Auckland-based victim of the same alleged offender $150,000 out of pocket.

“It is absolutely devastating for those who are losing money in such huge quantities like this,” Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says.

“Police will always do everything we can to try and recover the funds, including working with banks, however this does demonstrate some of the complexities we face.”

It is alleged both of these victims have been impacted by the ‘term deposit scam’, which Police recently warned has re-emerged.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bolton says prevention will always be the best way to stop an offender in their tracks.

“We are again urging the public to please consider the following advice if you are considering placing your money into a term deposit scheme.”

  • Never enter contact details into any online website that offers ‘term deposit’ rates
  • If you think you may have entered your contact details on a website offering fake term deposits, do not engage in conversations over the phone with a person purporting to be from a bank – disconnect the call and phone back on a number displayed on the bank’s website
  • You can always call your bank to seek reassurance and confirmation you are talking to a trusted and legitimate employee
  • Seek advice from a trusted friend or family member, or someone who has knowledge of investments before sending any money anywhere
  • Check the URL of the website that you are directed to and confirm it is the valid website for the bank that you believe that you are dealing with
  • The Financial Markets Authority publishes the names of suspicious companies on their website.

If you believe you are or have been the victim of fraud, contact Police at 105.police.govt.nz, or call Police on 105 and report the matter.

Image credit: Tara Winstead

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Source:NZ Police

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  1. And…IF you can afford to buy gold, do it with a proper gold dealer / assayer, and check that tungsten hasn’t been used in the center of the coins, ingots, etc.
    Get away from paper promises, and the silly manipulated ‘stock markets’ .


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