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Mother shaken after internet threats

Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013

By Kurtis J Eichler

The last thing Maryanne Pearce expected on the hunt for a rental property was for death threats to come her way.

The mother was using Facebook to try and find a rental property for her 25-year-old son when she got more than she bargained for on Friday.

Ms Pearce got in touch with California man Michael Davies - who claimed to have the details of a two bedroom rental property in Broken Hill for $1000 per month.

He gave an unsuspecting Ms Pearce the address and a time and asked her to pay $1200 to secure it before inspection.

When the man started talking money, she cottoned on to the conman on the other side of the world.

“Don’t be a fool of yourself,” he told her.

“I just want you to know ... because if you mess with me I will mess with you for the rest of your life.”

When Ms Pearce unleashed a verbal tirade against the man, he increased his threats.

“I am warning you in case you see your son dead or your life ruined don’t mess with me,” he said.

“So whatever you think you are doing ... don’t play me ... just know I warned you.”

Ms Pearce said the ordeal has left her shaken and wanting to get the message out about dodgy scammers.

“He gave me an address and all, and I believed him all up until he started to say he had someone ready to take the house and they were paying half price upfront.” 

Barrier LAC crime manager Mick Stoltenberg said internet scamming is becoming more prevalent.

But this was the first he’d heard of Ms Pearce’s vicious encounter.

“It’s becoming more common around the world because it’s virtually like a faceless crime,” DI Stoltenberg said.

“People can sit on the other side of the world and just string someone along.”

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