Business owner's reputation used to cheat people out of money
THERE has been scammers purporting to be the Australian Taxation Office, Nigerian princes, lovers and now Gladstone Bicycle Centre.
Owners of Gladstone Bicycle Centre David and Sally-Anne McIntosh said they became aware of the scam two weeks ago when a woman from Cairns called David and told him she had received an invoice from them, which wasn't really from them.
David forgot to tell Sally-Anne about the call and she was in shock when she received another call the next morning from a woman on the Gold Coast who had also received an invoice from Gladstone Bicycle Centre.
"She knew it was a scam and wanted me to know about it," Sally-Anne said.
Sally-Anne called the police who told her that they were unable to help, then the government body Scam Watch but they only deal with individuals, not businesses.
She was told to call Australian Competition and Consumer Commission but was once again told they couldn't help her.
She was "cheesed off" that the reputation the couple had worked on for 23 years was being used to scam people.
And then she received another call from a "lovely man", Ilario Audino, who had received an email from Hamish Manderson demanding an invoice be paid by October 10.
"I knew it was a scam, I live in Victoria and I just had a hip replacement," Ilario told The Observer.
"I don't ride bicycles and it's a bit hard to buy a bike from Queensland."
He said the email didn't have an amount he owed and the invoice attachment wouldn't open.
"I tried to ring the number in the email and it was all disconnected," the former bank manager said.
David and Sally-Anne had two more calls from people who had been sent bills from someone pretending to be them that afternoon.
"I just want to warn people now," Sally-Anne said.
"All of these people knew it was a scam but I don't want someone else to fall for it."
If you a concerned about being involved in a possible scam, contact Scam Watch on 1300 795 995.