A Mandurah policeman has called for victims to report alleged scammers to police, so they could decide whether an offence had been committed.
This comes after the Mandurah Mail revealed at least three women had allegedly been scammed out of money by Brett Turton aka ‘Brad Collins’, who claimed to be a 50-year-old Royal Caribbean International cruise line commander from Boston.
One Mandurah woman, who did not want to be named, said she transferred $3000 that was meant for “Japan shares” and $700 meant for a trip to Bali, into Mr Turton’s bank account.
Another Mandurah victim, Dianne Dunstan, gave Mr Turton about $500 for incidentals and money for a trip they were planning to the US.
Mr Turton was convicted in 2005 of 35 charges of obtaining property or financial advantage by deception and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with a minimum of 10 months before being eligible for parole.
Sergeant Aidan Sloan said determining whether a person had acted fraudulently depended on their “intent”.
If they are using deceitful means to get money from that person...that is an offence.Sergeant Aidan Sloan
“If someone gains money from someone else by telling them they would do something for them, like ‘give me this money and I’ll book the flights’, and they never booked the flights, or never had that intent, then that would be a scam,” he said.
“If they are using deceitful means to get money from that person...that is an offence.”
Mr Sloan said it was better to be “safe then sorry” and encouraged the community to contact police if they believed they were scammed.
“If anyone is in doubt they can come to us with all the information including bank records, text messages and emails, which we will review” he said.
“Anything that can assist us.
“We can get tell them what steps to take from there, and conduct an appropriate investigation.”
In other scam news, a Perth law firm has asked the public to alert them if they suspected the firm’s letterhead was being used fraudulently.
Robertson Hayles Lawyers director Kevin de Souza commented after Mr Turton allegedly used the firm’s letterhead to scam a victim into believing he was buying house for the pair to live in.
“There are an increasing number of scammers targeting legal firms, their clients and the general public,” he said.
“We remind our clients and the general public to always call over the phone and confirm when they suspect that the email or text communication may be fraudulent.”
To report a scam, contact Mandurah Police Station on 9581 0222 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, and provide all the relevant documentation to help authorities investigate the matter.