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Group warns again as ad scam continues

By JARED SMITH - Taranaki Daily News
23 Feb 2010

A suspected fraudster claiming to be from Neighbourhood Support continues to ply his trade throughout New Zealand.

Since the Taranaki Daily News story on the man in late January, North Taranaki Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Debbie Gut said she has received calls telling similar stories from Taranaki, Auckland, Wellington and near Dunedin.

The scam involves billing firms for advertisements in a magazine that does not exist.

In January, the man had been ringing Taranaki tradesmen and a rest home to discuss advertising they supposedly bought before Christmas.

He said these were to appear in a Neighbourhood Support publication called Safer Communities.

Since the article, Mrs Gut said she had heard similar stories from a motel and a commercial operator in Taranaki, along with "a big Auckland company", and self-employed men in Wellington and near Dunedin.

She said every Neighbourhood Support office in New Zealand had now been alerted.

And she is still shaking her head that someone looking to commit fraud might use an actual support group that works to reduce crime as their cover story.

"He's not going away, nothing's stopping him.

"We're out there shutting the doors on criminals and he picks us as his back-up story you have to be stupid to do that."


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