Think identity fraud can’t happen to you? Think again 11



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How would you feel if you suddenly went to draw some money out of your account and found all your money was gone? Or you couldn’t get a loan because someone else using your identity had ripped someone off and your credit history read like a criminal’s rap sheet?

Think it couldn’t happen to you? Wrong. A new report by the Australian Institute of Criminology says one in five Aussies has been targeted during their lives and one in 10 victimised by scammers in the past 12 months. Those are staggering figures, and behind each one is someone who is going through a nightmare as they try and sort out the resulting mess.

Online scams and other means of identity theft are also getting more sophisticated and harder to guard against.

AIC principal criminologist Russell Smith told The New Daily that scams used to be more obvious.

“But more recently criminals are doing more detailed research about individual circumstances,” he said.

Common forms of identity theft that were identified in the report included online banking, online credit card transactions, computer hacking and last – but by no means least – unsolicited emails directed to a fake website.

Mr Smith said part of the problem was that more and more of us are using our smart phones for online transactions, which are less secure than our home computers.

And sometimes even if the theft is discovered you cannot get your money back. Five per cent of the 5000 Australians surveyed by the AIC were left out of pocket permanently.

An expert in identity security told The New Daily that more than 900,000 Australians a year were targeted by some form of identity fraud.

Once you have been targeted you have to go through a long and bewildering list of steps to fix the issue, which can include notifying credit reporting agencies,   cancelling credit cards and even going to court to prove your identity.

To help avoid being successfully targeted, change your passwords and PINs frequently, keep your virus-ware current and shred any personal information before putting it in the bin.

The report said typical signs to watch out for include credit refusal, suddenly being unable to log into your bank account and getting bills for things you didn’t buy.

What you ever been targeted? Or do you know someone who did? What happened afterwards.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It is amassing how none of this was ever heard of when we had the old pass book & had to go to the banks to do any transactions by the staff, I believe this has all come about by the government & the banks for the technology they have bought into to cut costs & jobs to make them more profitable that may have worked for them , but not for their customers all their customers are getting out of it is lose of money, just wish we could go back,put your money under your pillow with a gun safer than a bank.

    1 REPLY
    • The Banks have never OK’d internet banking, they reluctantly had to keep up with technology. Thank goodness I have not kept up & don’t have iphone or i pad – as you said Brian going to the bank is a good approach. I haven’t used an outside ATM for years.

  2. Happened to me a couple of years ago. My bank contacted me querying if I had made numerous purchases on my credit card (which I hadn’t). They cancelled my card & sent me a statement showing nearly $8,000 worth of purchases in the USA. Lucky for me the bank picked it up & I didn’t have to pay.

  3. Internet banking can be a blessing or a curse. I used to send cheques to my grandchildren for birthdays. But cheques remained unpresented because they couldn’t get to a bank during opening hours due to work.

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