News : Detectives Reveal Inner Workings of Alleged Cold Call Syndicate Scams
Queensland, Australia, August, 2017 -- Police plan more arrests in relation to the Gold Coast’s "cold call" industry as they continue to investigate the inner workings of the operations.
The detective heading the investigation also revealed unwitting staff in "telesales" roles for these enterprises could be exposed to charges.
Among the claims by call centre industry staff being investigated by police are that employees were:
• Encouraged to use fake names when talking to customers on the phone;
• Read pre-worded scripts with no idea if claims made to potential customers were true;
• Passed interested customers to senior staff with false names;
• Were told to tell people they worked for a business with a completely different name.
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Last week, police arrested 74-year-old Robert Gordon Stewart who they will allege operated a call centre scam out of an office on Main Beach’s Tedder Avenue.
He is facing fraud, money laundering and perjury charges.
Police also seized a BMW during his arrest and claimed he obtained $950,000 from the "enterprise", spending $750,000 on a yacht.
Mr Stewart was granted bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court last week.
Ex-Finks gang member Jacob Stanes, 24, has been charged with fraud for allegedly being part of the same cold call syndicate.
Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Gough yesterday said more arrests were likely and police would allege Mr Stewart and "associates" were operating out of a first floor Tedder Avenue office in 2014 and 2015.
"It is further alleged that call centre and telesales activity was taking place there," Det Gough said.
Stanes was a director of Keystone Finance Pty Ltd and Prestige Capital Australia Pty Ltd operating telemarketing services in central Surfers Paradise in 2014 and 2015.
Mr Gough said unwitting telesales recruits, on minimum wage, could face charges "on a case-by-case basis".
"It depends on the particular circumstances and the type of employment contracts and induction that potential employees received," he said.
"People considering call centre telemarketing or telesales are encouraged to document employment by keeping records, ask reasonable questions and make reasonable inquiries about who they are working for, what they are being asked to do and say."
Mr Stewart is due to appear in court later this month.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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