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From the Newsdesk

Big Furniture Group Reports Prison Sentence for Facebook Scammer Duping Consumers

ACID has learned some increasingly worrying news from our media partners, Big Furniture Group, about a Facebook fraudster who has rightfully received a prison sentence for money laundering and fraud. Please see full article here.

As a warning to ACID members, consumers and those engaged in online sales, increasingly, fraudsters are creating lookalike social media messaging offering similar goods to those of legitimate sellers online, not delivering the goods ordered and laundering the money received. To all intent and purposes, the Facebook communications look legitimate, but they hide a dark and unlawful means of stealing money received and not honouring their commitment to provide the goods paid for. Around 100 complaints had been received from consumers.

In this case, according to Big Furniture Group, “Ryan Rhys Burns, aged 32 and from Rotherham, conned customers out of £14,544 for furnishings, which were either non-existent or not supplied, or completely unfit for purpose”. Further, “Burns was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment under the Fraud Act 2006 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and will serve half”.

Dids Macdonald OBE., Co-Founder and CEO of Anti Copying in Design said, “This is a despicable form of online fraud which also has intellectual property (IP) implications. For a start, using images belonging to others is unlawful and a breach of their copyright and another worrying aspect is that they are “passing off” as original suppliers using images that did not belong to them to dupe consumers. It is great to see Trading Standards using the Fraud Act to prosecute those who defraud”.

This is a grass roots example of Yorkshire and Humber Trading Standards, supported by Rotherham TS at work to help protect consumers and stem the flow of dodgy and unlawful trading.

Lord Michael Bichard, Chair of National Trading Standards, said: “Stealing from people looking to improve their homes while pandemic restrictions forced them to stay indoors shows that Burns had a callous disregard for his victims, inflicting additional distress during an already turbulent time.

“This sentence sends a strong message that fraud does not go unpunished, and I congratulate all those involved in bringing Burns to justice and preventing him from targeting anyone else”.

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