A Nelson woman has used fake Facebook profiles to scam buyers out of $6000 worth of goods.
Jade Ransom-Hall, 26, pleaded guilty to eight charges of obtaining by deception at the Nelson District Court on Monday.
Over a two-month period, Ransom-Hall tricked eight people into buying products she never delivered on.
Ransom-Hall created a series of fake Facebook accounts using aliases such as ‘Dan Newman’ and ‘Ryan Goodell’, along with fake email addresses.
Ransom-Hall advertised a variety of products on Facebook buy and sell pages, pulling images from Ebay and re-using them to advertise her own products.
Buyers were contacted through Facebook Messenger and by cellphone, with money being deposited directly into Ransom-Hall’s account.
The offending began on July 1, with Ransom-Hall selling a $400 rangefinder on the ‘Anything Hunting NZ’ Facebook page, under the alias ‘Dan Newman’.
After purchasing the item, the Ransom-Hall cut contact with the victim after they questioned when the rangefinder would be sent to them.
Over the course of the next two months, Ransom-Hall sold more than a dozen GPS-tracked dog collars, a Samsung Galaxy cellphone, and a Playstation 4, using a series of different aliases.
The final item was a thermal vision telescope, sold on August 27 for $1300.
Ransom-Hall said the reason for her offending was because she was “short of funds to meet day to day expenses”.
Defence lawyer Kelly Hennessy said Ransom-Hall had been in a “bad space” at the time, both financially and emotionally.
Hennessy said Ransom-Hall was capable of paying $20 per week towards any reparations.
Judge Tony Zohrab gave Ransom-Hall credit for her early guilty plea and lack of previous criminal history.
Zohrab ordered Ransom-Hall to pay $5945 in reparations and sentenced her to 100 hours community work, with a provision to call up for sentence again if she re-offended within the next 12 months.