Police charge man over romance scam


NOTE: This article is older than 12 months
myPolice on 

Police are issuing an urgent warning to the public following an investigation which has uncovered a disturbing development in romance and online scams.

Last night, the Queensland Police Service's Financial and Cyber Crime Group charged a 32-year-old Durack man following an investigation sparked after a victim contacted police.

Operation Swift commenced following information received from a 34-year-old Brisbane woman who believed she had been dating an offender who had claimed to be a United States soldier.

It is alleged the victim befriended a man she believed to be a U.S Solider on a social media platform in October 2018. Over the course of the following months the victim was groomed into believing the stories provided by the criminal and formed an online romantic relationship.

The victim sent over $200,000 to the "U.S Soldier" via a series of transfers through a money transfer service.

"While this is becoming far too frequent, it is what came next that caused us concern," Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the State Crime Command's Financial and Cyber Crime Group said

The concerning twist is that the offender (and clearly not the U.S soldier in the images) travelled to the victims home to obtain more money, this time over $105,000. The victim became suspicious and after confiding in a close friend, she reported the matter to police.

Yesterday detectives conducted a tactical operation which lead to the interception and arrest of the offender whilst he was attempting to induce the victim to hand over more money.

Detectives executed search warrants at a Durack address and located a number of items used in the commission of these crimes.  Investigations are continuing.

The 32-year-old man was charged with one count each of fraud and attempted fraud. He is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

"The U.S Army Criminal Investigation Command receives hundreds of complaints a month from people who find themselves involved in an online relationship with someone purporting to be a U.S Soldier. This is a common scam worldwide. Usually the offenders interaction with the victim is all online so this further step of traveling to the victim's home is certainly something we need the public to hear and be warned of today.

"I encourage anyone using social media platforms to develop friendships or relationships online to maintain control at all times.  I know emotions may make that harder but arm yourself with the knowledge that these scams are occurring to everyday members of the community like you.

"Take the time to evaluate the relationship, talk to friends and other loved ones about your new relationship online. We are thankful the victim in this instance took this step," he said.

Members of the public can learn about scams at www.scamwatch.gov.au, mypolice.qld.gov.au R U In Control.  Scams can be reported to www.acorn.gov.au

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Community Law & Safety Money & Finance

myPolice Sunshine Coast :
mypolice.qld.gov.au/sunshinecoast, Sunshine Coast Wide
myPolice Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Stolen vehicle hot list, week ending March 30 01 April 2020 | Sunshine Coast Police are asking members of the public to assist in locating the stolen motor vehicles listed below. More information...
Border restrictions 25 March 2020 | The community should avoid all non-essential cross-border travel to Queensland from tonight. More information...
Social distancing 24 March 2020 | The community is being reminded to adhere to social distancing principles and new restrictions in relation to indoor venues. More information...
Random breath tests continue following the suspension of static breath testing sites 23 March 2020 | The Queensland Police Service (QPS) continues to conduct random and targeted breath tests across the State, anywhere at any time. More information...
Stolen vehicle hot list, week ending March 20 20 March 2020 | Sunshine Coast Police are asking members of the public to assist in locating the stolen motor vehicles listed below. More information...
Static RBT Statement 16 March 2020 | The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has suspended static (multi-vehicle) roadside breath and drug tests to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. More information...
Missing girl, Cotton Tree 16 March 2020 | Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate a 16-year-old girl reported missing from Cotton Tree. More information...
Update 3: Appeal for public assistance, homicide investigation, Amamoor 16 March 2020 | Detectives have identified a third person of interest in relation to the homicide investigation of a 22-year-old man last week. More information...
Drug raids, Sunshine Coast 13 March 2020 | Sunshine Coast police have seized drugs and weapons during a series of raids carried out over the past two days which resulted in 13 people being charged. More information...
Stolen vehicle hot list for week ending March 13 13 March 2020 | We would also like to remind everyone to ensure that their vehicles are left secured at all times and that valuables are removed. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service