Woman nabbed for bogus online sales

By Abigail Hartevelt of The Daily Post

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A Rotorua woman has admitted more than $15,000 worth of fraud after posing as sellers on various online auctions.

Kerry Ann Moke-Amotawa has appeared before Community Magistrate Robyn Paterson in the Rotorua District Court where she pleaded guilty to 24 charges of accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes.

According to the police summary of facts, between April 14 and May 16, 2011 Moke-Amotawa used her computer to log into several online auction websites, including Trade Me, Trade and Exchange, sella.co.nz, secondhand.co.nz and Buy Sell and Exchange, which operate by people advertising personal items for sale.

Buyers can register on the websites and place bids on the items.

Once the auction closes the seller and buyer communicate arrangements around payment and postage or pick-up of the items.

Moke-Amotawa monitored the auctions of Apple iPhones and when the auctions closed, would contact people interested in the auction via text message.

Once in contact with those people, Moke-Amotawa would pose as the seller of the iPhone and tell the complainants the auction fell through with the winner of the auction.

Moke-Amotawa would settle on a price - between $400 and $1000 - for the iPhones and provide her bank account number.

The complainants transferred funds into Moke-Amotawa's account but she would then stop contact with them and keep the money. She carried out such transactions on 24 occasions.

When spoken to by police Moke-Amotawa admitted what she had done and said family problems had contributed to her offending.

Police are seeking reparation of $15,231.80.

Mrs Paterson remanded Moke-Amotawa on bail for sentencing before a judge in the Rotorua District Court on July 23.

- NZ Herald

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