Timothy Barker, a Canadian man who was wrongfully accused of orchestrating a complex e-commerce scam, is fighting to clear his name after a case of triangulation fraud. Barker, 56, had been the Band Manager at Duncan’s First Nation in northwestern Alberta, and was in charge of the delivery of all Band programs including community health services, education, housing, social assistance, and administration.
Barker spoke with KrebsOnSecurity, recounting that he was buy items for the community using his own payment card when he was falsely accused of hacking the account of an Ontario woman. This led to a call from an investigator with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and eventually to Barker’s arrest on charges of theft.
Before his arrest, Barker said his home received a package from Walmart and not Amazon, along with suspicious phone calls from the investigator who showed up at his home before he could speak to a lawyer. Following his arrest, Barker said he was fired from his job and is now in a position where potential employers discover his criminal arrest record and refuse to hire him, even though it is not a record of conviction.
Contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, the woman whose account was hacked and used for fraudulent purchases expressed doubt that Barker’s case involved triangulation fraud. However, Barker shared all the documentation he gave to the RCMP, including Amazon screenshots showing that the items purchased were from a Turkish-based seller named “Adavio.” The account owner, a computer engineering student based in Turkey, did not respond to requests for comment.
Amazon itself conducted an investigation and confirmed that Barker never filed a complaint about Adavio or the transaction in question before, and that the seller had a favorable feedback rating. Barker stated that last year when he tried to file a complaint with Amazon, he was no longer able to find the Adavio account on the website and the site didn’t have an appropriate category for the complaint he wanted to make.
Barker firmly believes that he and the Ontario woman are both victims of triangulation fraud, and is determined to clear his name and restore his employment prospects which have been marred by the allegations brought against him. One of the reasons he is trying to clear his name is so that he can secure new employment in the future.