Facebook fraud: Shearer paid for McDonald’s meals for allowing scammer to use his account
Major Te Ture claimed not to know the person carrying out fraudulent transactions on Facebook. Photo/NZME
A 69-year-old shearer who allowed his bank account to be used for Facebook fraud has been ordered to pay back $3,715 stolen from eight victims.
Napier District Court was told Major Te Ture, of Hastings, was not the fraudster who was making false advertisements on the Facebook Marketplace trading platform.
However, he was charged after allowing his bank account to be used by the person or persons committing the scams, whom he claimed not to know.
A Crown summary of facts said Te Ture received the money from the victims of the scam into his account, then withdrew it and paid it to the fraudster in return for small amounts of cash and meals McDonald’s.
He pleaded guilty to a representative charge of receiving stolen goods for eight frauds committed using his account between June 2020 and February 2021.
Te Ture stopped after his bank asked him to explain the suspicious deposits and threatened to block access to his account.
Judge Geoff Rea said Te Ture was caught ‘preying on the good nature of others’.
“When you…use your own bank account so people can pay, you’re going to get caught,” Judge said.
Victims paid money for transactions on Facebook, thinking of buying a television or outdoor furniture, or putting deposits on cars and caravans.
When their money was transferred, the fake seller’s Facebook account disappeared.
The largest amounts transferred were two transactions of $1,000 – for a deposit on a 2005 Suzuki Swift and to secure a 1981 Zephyr trailer said to be offered for $4,000.
Some buyers showed up at homes to complete the deals, only to be told by the occupants that they had never heard of the person supposed to sell on Facebook.
Fake names used by the fraudster included Jamie-Ray Smith, Lucas Smith, Lucas Manawa, David Cormack, Wiremu Wakefield and Leanne McPherson.
The Crown sought reparations for all eight victims.
Defense attorney Sheila Cameron said Te Ture would be able to pay $50 a week.
Judge Rea sentenced Te Ture to 150 hours of community service and told him to repay the $3,715 by December 2024.