$3K SCAM: Man expected drones, got concrete
LEITH Erikson was expecting two secondhand drones to arrive at his door, but instead he received boxes of concrete, plastic and bubble wrap.
Earlier this month the Gold Coast support worker ordered the drones on Gumtree with the intention to use them to help his clients upskill.
He paid $3130 to the man who claimed he was from Cooktown but worked fly-in-fly-out in Gladstone.
"We will never trust someone like that again," Mr Erikson said.
Mr Erikson is the founder and volunteer of The Australian Brotherhood of Fathers, an organisation that helps men deal with family separation and domestic violence.
He wanted the drones to help men learn a new hobby.
He thought buying them secondhand would help save some money.
After finding a seller and gaining trust, both parties agreed the man would post the packages from Tannum Sands.
But Mr Erikson said he knew something was wrong when he received them.
"The packages were not the size I would have expected for the gear we purchased," he said.
"When I opened the packages they were filled with bits of plastic, bits of concrete and bubble wrap.
"In hindsight I was kicking myself I didn't ask the post office to check the packages."
Mr Erikson said he felt disheartened and believed he had taken all the right steps not to be frauded.
"It was in good faith we spent money that was important to us, only for these people to take advantage of us," he said.
Gladstone police Sergeant Wayne Butcher said it was concerning honest people were getting scammed.
"As police we request that if buying from a seller try and get as much information on the seller prior to the purchase," Sgt Butcher said.
"Bank to bank transfer is easier for police to track and even though not always possible, try and pay half before shipment and the other half when delivered."
Sgt Butcher said this type of offending was not often reported in the Gladstone area.
Mr Erikson said online scams were part of a wider issue in the community.
"I absolutely believe other people have been affected," he said.
"This stuff is obviously going on in our communities … these people are getting away with crimes and taking advantage of people."