Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Flood evacuation: Prepare early, secure important documents

Media Release

Flood evacuation: Prepare early and secure your important documents from fraudsters

29 January 2013

With residents continuing to evacuate flooded homes across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting is warning Australians that their important papers need to be ready to leave with them should they be forced to evacuate their homes, in order to prevent both loss and theft of identity.

CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair, Graham Doessel says if people need to leave their homes, it is important that their emergency kit contains their important identity documents.

“If you’re preparing your emergency kit, along with your bare essentials, you should be adding in your essential identity documents as well as insurance documents, and locking any other personally identitifiable documents in a safe if possible,” Mr Doessel says.

He says disasters in the recent past were further plagued by scammers and identity thieves hoping to make a quick buck from the misfortune of others.

“In the days and weeks following the Queensland floods in 2011, victims were tricked into giving over personal information and banking details, and were also robbed by crooks masquerading as tradespeople,” he says. [i]

Likewise, after the Canberra bushfires in 2003, there were reports of fraud.

"In the Canberra fires, many victims lost their homes, possessions, cars and key identification documents, meaning they had no way to prove their identity or use support services. Equally, impostors had an opportunity to present themselves as such victims, for instance by claiming to be someone whose name and address they had garnered from media reports" an Australian Federal Police Study reports. [ii]

The Queensland SES recommends people preparing an emergency kit for evacuation secure the originals or certified copies of their important documents. These include insurance documents, an inventory of valuable household goods, wills, house deeds, loan documents, passports, stocks and bonds, medical and government information, and bank and credit card details.

"Scan copies of these documents and save on a USB memory stick or CD to include in your kit. Keep all these items in sealed plastic bags." the SES advises. [iii]

Mr Doessel says correct management of identity documents is so essential during disasters such as flood, not only because victims can then prove their identity to authorities and relevant relief bodies, but because personal information can be stolen by identity thieves and victims can have credit taken out in their name.

“In this instance, the victim is hit not twice, but three times. Their homes and belongings ruined by flood, debts incurred in their name by fraudsters and a series of defaults or other infringements mean they are unable to get credit for up to 5 years.”

“The process of repairing inconsistent credit listings can take months, regardless of the source of the default, as it involves the victim proving to Creditors they didn’t initiate the credit in their name," he says.

He says fraudsters may not need full copies of identity documents in order to fit pieces of a person's identity together for fraud.

"With so much personal information available online as well, even a small piece of personal information found or given away to fraudsters after a disaster may be all that’s needed to set up a new identity in a victim’s name, or attempt to claim compensation with it," Mr Doessel says.

Anyone who is suspicious their identity has been stolen or under threat should contact Police immediately, and should also contact the credit reporting agencies which hold their credit file.

To order their credit report people can go to http://www.mycra.com.au/credit-file-request/.

For those people needing a Flood Emergency Evacuation Plan and a full list of essential items for an emergency kit, the SES Queensland web page ‘Be Prepared’ http://www.emergency.qld.gov.au/emq/css/beprepared.asp will assist.

www.mycra.com.au | www.mycra.com.au/blog


[i] http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/vultures-descend-on-victims-with-scams-20110116-19sm0.html

[ii] http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/17/1079199293672.html

[iii] http://www.emergency.qld.gov.au/emq/css/emergencykit.asp

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news