A Portland man in his 20s has been arrested for allegedly facilitating scams by allowing offenders to launder more than $100,000 through his bank accounts.
Portland police detectives are urging people who have been victims of online scams to report the matters to police via 131 444, visiting their local police station or through www.cyber.gov.au.
Detective Senior Constable Victoria Hudson, of the Portland police crime investigation unit, said the investigation was ongoing.
She said it would be alleged that the man was taking a cut of the proceeds from a variety of online scams, including puppy and Facebook marketplace scams, before converting the bulk of the money into cryptocurrency which was then moved offshore.
Detective Senior Constable Hudson said it is important for police to be notified of the scams so the true extent of the offences could be investigated and all available evidence obtained.
"The offence of money laundering and dealing with the proceeds of crime apply for persons who assist these scammers," she said.
"It can also result in all bank accounts in your name being frozen and not being able to open a new account.
"Penalty orders can also be levied on the individual and assets can be seized by a court.
"People who are tempted to engage in this activity should think long and hard about the damage scams cause in the community and the consequences for themselves personally when they inevitably are caught," she said.
In the past couple of months south-west police detectives have been investigating a number of online scams with some victims losing more than $10,000.
Two of the main scams involve criminals infiltrating emails and asking to change bank account details and the other involves the sale of puppies.
Detective Senior Constable Hudson said the puppies scam involved a professional website based in Iceland.
Police said puppies could be bought safely online, but it was important that people were vigilant and followed crucial rules:
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