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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news