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Get Savvy On Credit Card And Mobile Phone Theft

MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealanders Urged To Get Savvy On Credit Card And Mobile Phone Theft

AUCKLAND, 1 December 2009 - New Zealanders are urged to step up their protection of personal items such as credit and eftpos cards and mobile phones as they head into the Christmas and summer holiday season.

Increasingly these cards are being targeted by criminals who use them not only to obtain goods, services and funds fraudulently but also to ‘takeover’ a person’s identity.

Veda Advantage Managing Director John Roberts says: “We are seeing more and more examples of people having their card details ripped off or stolen – it’s distressing and a real nuisance.”

Credit card and eftpos crime and identity theft are known to be on the rise but statistics are scant. However, a recent study conducted by Veda Advantage showed 1 in 5 Australians have experienced identity crime.*

NZ Police figures show, for the year 2008/2009, there were more than 7,000 incidents of fraud and false pretences using credit and bank cards as well as obtaining credit by fraud.

Mobile phone theft is also increasingly widespread, particularly as the value of handsets increases.

“For many people their mobile phone contains the details of their personal and business lives and the loss of a phone can not only be hugely inconvenient but also potentially damaging, “Mr Roberts says.

New Zealanders are behind the rest of the world, including Australia, in being aware of just how vulnerable they are to theft of this kind and ensuring they protect themselves.

Mr Roberts urges them to consider using products such as Secure Sentinel which, when your wallet or phone is stolen, can take over the problem for you and even provide emergency cash if you are offshore.

*Statistics from Veda Advantage's Identity Crimes Report*, conducted by Galaxy Research September 2009.

ENDS

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