Have you seen this scam artist?

HUNT: Police are seeking this man.
HUNT: Police are seeking this man. Contributed

POLICE are renewing their plea for public information to catch a man who has scammed local businesses to the tune of $100,000.

The 52-year-old man is described as having an olive complexion, 177cm tall with brown hair and a large build and is currently travelling in a white Corolla which is believed to be a hire car.

Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said between February and last week, the man had targeted businesses by pretending to be a tyre or cigarette wholesaler.

He would then call a legitimate wholesaler to deliver the items, go to the business and receive a cash payment before running away while the items were being unloaded.


Police are seeking a man driving a white Corolla, believed to be a hire car, who has been scamming businesses.
Police are seeking a man driving a white Corolla, believed to be a hire car, who has been scamming businesses. Queensland Police Service

Most recently he targeted a Nambour tobacconist last Friday and stores in Toowoomba and Gympie in September.

Businesses in Caboolture, the Gold Coast and Cairns have also been impacted.

"On receipt of payment he flees from the area and leaves the scene," Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.

"The wholesalers don't sell the product and the victims obviously have lost that money."

It's estimated the man has taken about $100,000 from businesses in that time.

"We need to stress to businesses, if they are approached by this man or (if) any type of business is conducted with them where there's an offer to supply wholesale tyres or tobacco that they don't hand over any funds whatsoever until they receive the product," Det Snr Sgt Edwards said.

"He's been here quite recently, so we need the community's assistance to try and identify that man.

"We certainly encourage people to come forward as soon as possible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Policelink on 131 444, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  crime daren edwards fraud nambour queensland police service tobacco wanted man

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