Alleged Trade Me conman nabbed

Last updated 05:00 15/01/2013
Joshua Calthorpe
ALLEGED SCAMMER: Joshua Calthorpe has been caught by police.

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Police have nabbed an alleged Trade Me conman who had evaded them for four months by hiding at a boarding house in central Auckland.

East Auckland man Joshua Calthorpe, 32, was wanted on multiple fraud charges and had warrants out for his arrest since September.

Yesterday Counties Manukau police confirmed he was "assisting them with enquiries" after they found him at an associate's property.

He told police he had been hiding at a city boarding house.

Calthorpe is accused of targeting Trade Me users who left their contact details in the "Q and A" section of auctions.

He allegedly sent them texts or emails posing as the seller from the auction they had expressed interest in and would offer a seemingly great deal, provided it was completed outside Trade Me to avoid the site's fees.

Trade Me's trust and safety manager Jon Duffy said the alleged offending was some of the most prolific in the history of the website.

Calthorpe was banned from Trade Me in 2009 after not delivering goods he was "selling" but Duffy said that had not stopped him.

He said the key message to users was to conduct all business through the site.

Calthorpe appeared in Manukau District Court last week facing 19 charges of obtaining by deception and was remanded in custody. He will appear again this week for a bail hearing.

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- Auckland Now

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