75yo Mackay man charged with embezzling over $1M
AN ELDERLY Mackay man has been charged with laundering more than $1million through an international scam operation.
Police will allege the 75-year-old man set up three Australian companies, JC Enterprising, JC Web Creations and ITZ Services between February 2015 and July 2017, after he was contacted by a fake overseas computer repair company to become its local representative to receive funds from their customers.
Police claim as part of the scam, a number of victims were subject to overseas cold calling scams, advising their computer needed repairs and provided remote access to the scammers, who then downloaded a ransomware virus.
It will be further alleged the scammers demanded money be paid to a Mackay-based bank account or money order to facilitate unlocking the victims' computers.
JC Enterprising has been the subject of a number of consumer complaints.
On the ReverseAustralia website - a page where people comment on phone numbers which they don't recognise - there have been five complaints this year and 49 in total.
A written police statement issued late Monday revealed that in April, Mackay detectives had searched a number of post boxes where they believed 22 letters and packages were addressed to fraudulent companies.
Then on Friday, July 7, Mackay Police arrested a 75-year-old man and charged him with recklessly engaging in money laundering.
It will be alleged that between 2010 and 2017 the 75-year-old transferred funds in excess of $1 million to a number of overseas entities.
Mackay Crime and Support Services Detective Inspector Nikki Colfs said it was an example of offenders preying on vulnerable victims.
"If anyone receives an unexpected call from someone and feels that something isn't right, simply hang up," Detective Inspector Colfs said.
"Under no circumstances should people download software to their computer in this sort of scenario."
For more information on scams visit the Scamwatch website.
The man will appear in Mackay Magistrates Court.