Several investigative units in the US are currently investigating fraud allegations against David Golding and his wife Janie Golding of Sydney Australia. According to reports David Golding who commonly referred to himself as “The Ghost” online by using an online alias of Mike Roberts would contact business owners who had internet based businesses for sale on sites such as Flippa.com which is also based in Australia and he would give the false impression he was interested in purchasing the business to gain access to information.
He would then use the information he obtained and he would make exact copies of the sellers websites and then pretend to potential customers that he was the legitimate business. One of the victims of the Golding’s scam found a copy of his website online and then contacted David Golding and Mr Golding then bragged to the victim about how he had hacked his Paypal and other financial accounts sending pictures of their online accounts and then making threats to the business owner that he would “ruin him” if he exposed his scam.
While online scams are nothing new the types of people committing these crimes have changed and we are starting to see more older professional types getting into online fraud. In this case David Golding works in a professional role with LexisNexis which is a computer assisted legal research company with offices worldwide. Janie Golding works for the NSW department of education and both are in their 50’s and nearing retirement age.
One of the victims in this case provided investigators a Skype conversation with David Golding in which he not only bragged to the victim that he was a “Ghost” and no one could ever find him but he also indicated that he was “Mates” with Dave Slutzkin who is the Founder and CEO of flippa.com. With over $200m in website sales Flippa is the leader in the online business sales industry but the site has many online complaints about fraud. It is unclear at this point in the investigation if Slutzkin and his company actually assisted the Golding’s in their scam but the victim’s Flippa accounts were banned as soon as he addresses the situation with Flippa’s customer support team and David Goldings account is still active at press time on the site which you can view at https://flippa.com/users/1045893
The Golding’s did not work alone in the scam, there was also Micheal Usov also of Sydney who owns MRU Consulting PTY LTD who would take part in conference calls with David Golding and he acted as the “investor” who was going to put in the funds to buy the businesses. Usov would also set up copies of the websites according to the skype conversations. No charges have been filed at this time but as the investigation widens multiple arrest are expected.