Accused iPhone scammer in court

By Edward Gay of APNZ

Elmira Rafiee is alleged to have contacted 45 Trade Me and Sella customers by text message, pretending to be selling the Apple mobile devices. Photo / Thinkstock
Elmira Rafiee is alleged to have contacted 45 Trade Me and Sella customers by text message, pretending to be selling the Apple mobile devices. Photo / Thinkstock

The woman accused of scamming people in online auctions now faces 53 charges.

Elmira Rafiee is alleged to have contacted 45 Trade Me and Sella customers by text message, pretending to be selling iPhones and iPads.

Police laid 53 charges of obtaining a pecuniary advantage against the 24-year-old today at the Auckland District Court.

Rafiee did not appear in court as she had only just been arrested for breaching a curfew. Rafiee's lawyer, Mark Ryan, said his client would be reappearing on the curfew breach at the High Court in Auckand tomorrow.

A victim of the alleged scheme came forward earlier this month to say they had been contacted by a woman calling herself Ria Pearson. He said he deposited $400 into her bank account, believing he would receive an iPad in the post.

When it didn't arrive, he phoned police.

"She texted and emailed me," he told the Herald on Sunday. "I spoke to her on the phone and she sounded like a young girl so I didn't think it was dodgy. She sounded legit."

Trade Me trust and safety manager Jon Duffy warned people not make their contact details public online, and to do "due diligence" about sellers.

- APNZ

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