A former Māori Language Commission deputy chief jailed for possessing cocaine is calling on the government to take a pro-active approach in cracking down on online fraudsters.
Sharon Armstrong was arrested in 2011 and spent two years in an Argentinian jail after a man she fell in love with online asked her to pick up a bag in Argentina. Unbeknown to her the bag contained 5kg of cocaine with a street value of about $1.25 million.
In an interview with Te Kāea, Sharon Armstrong says, “I do remember at the time they had an answer to, in fact Frank even said to me Honey if you're concerned open it up and have a look, at which point I thought I was just being paranoid.”
Armstrong was released in 2013 and is now campaigning for more awareness of online fraudsters, asking the government to get more involved, she says, “Rather than be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff we get a bit more sophisticated we can identify when someone is being scammed, someone like myself can go with the Police and talk with those people.”
A spokesperson for The Department of Internal Affairs told Te Kāea they administer the anti-spam legislation with a dedicated team. They also go beyond spam to warn people about online crime of other types such as attempts at fraud.
More on this story at 5:30pm on Te Kāea.