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

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The 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. More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news