Trust & Safety

Trade Me's blog on Trust and Safety issues.

Rogues Gallery

'Do the crime, do the time' right?

Especially so if you've been up to no good on the internet. Here's a handful of examples of persons who've had convictions related to criminal activity that in some way involved Trade Me. 

Why do we post these details?

A couple of reasons.

The main one is that Trade Me wants to have a site that is trusted and safe.

We say that all the time, but we really mean it!

We hope that it demonstrates to members that we are doing our best to achieve that goal and that it sends a signal to those would-be crims out there that they should think twice before they try and use Trade Me as part of their dealings.

Peter Helmbright

Peter Helmbright used to have a Trade Me membership. He now has a criminal record.

 Helmbright was convicted of four counts of obtains by deception following his actions on Trade Me. 

A strong and swift response from the New Zealand Police and the criminal justice system saw Peter convicted.

Peter was sentenced to 225 hours community service and ordered to pay reparations of $3,411.00. 

Joshua Calthorpe

Text scammers are straight up dirt-bag fraudsters. 

They troll auction sites looking to trick people into paying them money for ‘offsite’ transactions, when they are not the actual seller of the item advertised.

By leaving your contact details in Q&A, you set yourself up for scammers to scam you. And that's what Joshua Calthorpe tried to make a business out of but as is fast becoming coming clear, these guys always get caught. 

In May 2013 Calthorpe was sentenced to 2 years in prison due to some fine work by the Trust and Safety team and most importantly, the NZ Police. 

Elmira Rafiee

Elmira Rafiee, beautician, fraudster, and narcotics enthusiast, was sentenced on 56 fraud charges in relation to her activities on online trading platforms, including Trade Me.

Clearly a troubled person, here’s how Trade Me got on Elmira’s case. 

We hope she's regained her health.

Meth, not even once.  

Chanelle Betty Sandilands

Using a stolen credit card as part of an identity scam ultimately brought a ticket to jail for Napier-based fraudster Chanelle Betty Sandilands after she pleaded guilty to 16 charges of obtaining by deception and using a document for pecuniary advantage.

Trade Me staff are very well-trained at identifying memberships created using false details and, in most cases, the team is able to link the account to the individual responsible for its creation. 

When this fraudster began using a false account to make purchases, her use of a stolen credit card alerted our handy investigators at Trade Me HQ.

Sandilands was sentenced to 21 months in jail in Jan 2013. Trade Me was stoked to see the Courts considered her actions warranted a strong sentence. 

Gyorgy Sandor Temesvari

In late July 2012, Trade Me Trust and Safety was alerted to a non-delivery complaint for a number of vintage toy cars.

We looked into and decided we needed some support from the Police. 

What followed was some stellar work from Christchurch Police which lead to ‘Patsy’ aka Gyorgy Temesvari being convicted of Obtaining by Deception.

He was ordered to pay full reparations to the buyer, and given 200 hours community service, with 6 months of supervision.

Kingsley Te Waa

Kingsley Te Waa, another ultimately unsuccessful con artist from Hastings, ripped 11 people off by selling electronic goods he did not have on a few websites – including a small number on Trade Me.

He was recently convicted and ordered to complete 200 hours community service by Judge Rea accompanied by an order to replay $2,754.

He faces jail time if he fails to comply with the order.

To give you some insight to what happened from Trade Me’s perspective, here’s a brief description of how the Trust and Safety team worked on the issue.

Craig James Rutherford

Motor vehicle trader Craig James Rutherford has been fined $12,100 in the Auckland District Court after admitting to shill bidding on Trade Me.

Rutherford was an employee of a company called Cheapcars NZ Ltd trading on Trade Me as Repocars.

It was owned by Trevor Rooderkerk and he wound the company up shortly after his Trade Me account was closed.