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Text alerts man to car bought by fraudster in his name

An investigation by the Noosa Criminal Investigation Branch, with the help of the Gatton CIB uncovered a $43,000 Audi sedan financed using a Noosa victim's identity.
An investigation by the Noosa Criminal Investigation Branch, with the help of the Gatton CIB uncovered a $43,000 Audi sedan financed using a Noosa victim's identity. Queensland Police Service

A TEXT message alerted a Coast victim of identity theft that a high-end car had been purchased in their name.

That was just one case brought to light by months of unravelling a web of crime which has impacted dozens of people.

An investigation by the Noosa Criminal Investigation Branch, with the help of the Gatton CIB uncovered a $43,000 Audi sedan financed using the Noosa victim's identity.

Yesterday, officers seized the vehicle and arrested a 53-year-old man for fraud, but other Coast victim's identities have also been used to obtain credit cards.

A search of his Laidley address uncovered more than 100 items including computers, laminating machine, multiple fake drivers licences, credit cards, phones, sim cards and USBs.

A large quantity of iPads, TV, sound systems and other household appliances were also seized.

Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards warned the public security of their identity was "paramount".

"I certainly would encourage people if they receive any messages, emails or letters from finance companies that seem strange... they immediately report those to police," Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.

"These offences would appear sophisticated somewhat, but quite honestly they're quite able to be carried out with products you can buy legally over the net or through merchandisers now."

Identification information including photocopied drivers licences have possibly been linked to upwards of 80 victims.

Some of the victims are from the Sunshine Coast, but officers found the man with stolen identification from as far south as New South Wales.

Investigations are continuing into how the man came to steal so many identities.

The man appeared in Ipswich Court this morning in custody on several charges and was already on bail at the time of his arrest for other offences including drug trafficking.

Topics:  crime daren edwards editors picks fraud police queensland police service



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