Gumtree urges vigilance after fake doc sting

CLASSIFIEDS website Gumtree is urging people to check identification and make transactions face-to-face after a man pretended to be a doctor and faked receipts to steal cars advertised on the website.

Gumtree released a statement after Bradley Thomas Anthony Strauch was sentenced to prison on Monday after pleading guilty in the Southport District Court to multiple counts of fraud.

He had bogus scrubs made and pretended to be a doctor when responding to Gumtree ads to buy cars.

Strauch posed as a doctor throughout the scam.
Strauch posed as a doctor throughout the scam.

Strauch, 25, would a fake a transaction receipt to get people to hand over keys.

A Gumtree spokeswoman yesterday urged users to remain vigilant.

"For added peace of mind when selling any item, it can be beneficial to ask a buyer to show their personal identification before you hand over any goods for inspection," she said.

"Transactions should always be made face-to-face, with an in-person payment made once you've seen the car and made the necessary checks.

Police officers arrive on the Gold Coast from Melbourne with 25-year-old Strauch. Photo: David Clark
Police officers arrive on the Gold Coast from Melbourne with 25-year-old Strauch. Photo: David Clark

"It can pay to meet the seller at a mechanics, so they can check over the vehicle. Never send or wire money to somebody you don't know."

The spokeswoman also reminded users to use the "report ad" function if they saw anything they thought was suspicious.

She said Gumtree worked closely with law enforcement.