Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Stay safe from scams this Christmas


Stay safe this Christmas: Scam victims should be worried about 5 year blacklisting on their credit rating

28 November 2012

As more Christmas scams come to the fore, a consumer advocate for accurate credit reporting is warning consumers that scammers are not just after the money in their bank accounts, but are after much more – their financial identity.

CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repairs, Graham Doessel says consumers need to be wary of the opportunities fraudsters may take to misuse their personal information.

“Scams and other fraud attempts are becoming much more sophisticated as profits get more lucrative. Many fraudsters are into building a profile of their victim – extracting layers of information which allows them to access credit in the victim’s name – including loans and even properties.”

“The difficulty for recovery when someone has tapped in to your credit rating is that generally you have unpaid debts in your name, which are placed in default - which basically means for 5 years your own ability to obtain credit is ruined,” Mr Doessel says.

This warning comes as the Australian Banker’s Association (ABA) last week announced reports of a telephone scam where fraudsters were impersonating them and offering instructions on how to obtain a ‘refund’ for overcharged bank fees.[i]

The ABA said criminals asked customers to proceed to a post office to receive the so-called ‘refund’ - ranging from $5 000 - $7 000.

Victims are then asked to wire money via Western Union for costs associated with the ‘refund’.

But in addition, scammers also tacked on a request for personal details, which signifies an attempt to misuse those details in the future, possibly for identity theft purposes.

Fraudsters asked these questions:

With whom do you bank?
For how long?
What is your credit card number?
What is your driver’s licence number?

Mr Doessel says fraudsters are attempting to gather extra information from their victims over and above what they might already have in front of them.

“If they have your full name plus who you bank with, and your driver’s licence number - they have the basic building blocks for an identity theft attempt. They can call the bank and have some kind of identity information on which to proceed with accessing bank accounts AND accessing further credit in your name,” he says.

The bank refund phone scam has been added to a long list of scam attempts running over the past few months, and many more could emerge as Christmas approaches.

Mr Doessel says sometimes people don’t know they have been a victim until after they apply for credit and are refused.

“By that time, it is such a struggle to recover your good name. For an identity theft victim to have a chance at removing bad credit history, you must prove you didn’t initiate the credit in the first place. This can be difficult if the scam happened months or years before,” he says.

What to do if you suspect you have fallen for a scam

1. Contact the Police immediately. Don’t be embarrassed or dismiss it because you don’t think the amount was significant enough. It is only through identity theft being reported that data gets collected and appropriate preventative measures eventually get put in place.

2. Contact your Bank. They should be able to flag your accounts so that no credit can be obtained in your name.

3. Contact the credit reporting agencies that hold your credit file. In Australia, this is Veda Advantage, Dun and Bradstreet and TASCOL (if in Tasmania). You should inform them that you may be at risk of identity theft and they may have a plan of action for protecting your credit file.

4. At this time, you should also order a copy of your credit report. If there are any inconsistencies on your credit report – change of address, strange credit enquiries and instances of credit you don’t believe you’ve access, then you may already be a victim – and should do all that’s possible to follow up on each account so as not to accrue defaults on your credit file that should not be there.

5. If you find you have defaults that shouldn’t be there, take steps to remove them. Although it seemed so easy for the fraudster to use your good name in the first place, you are now faced with proving the case of identity theft with copious amounts of documentary evidence in order to get the credit listings removed from your credit file.

If you have neither the time nor the knowledge of Australia’s credit reporting system and credit legislation that you may need to fight your case yourself, you can seek the help of a professional credit repairer.

Visit www.mycra.com.au for more information on identity theft and bad credit or call MyCRA on 1300 667 218.

ENDS.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news