Fraud prevention

Fraud prevention
Photo of a credit card and computer
Fraud has been broadly described by the Australian Institute of Criminology (2011) as the use of deceitful and dishonest means to obtain an unjust advantage. Fraud prevention Fraud has been broadly described by the Australian Institute of Criminology (2011) as the use of deceitful and dishonest means to obtain an unjust advantage. Community Safety and Crime Prevention; Community Safety; Safety

Photo of a credit card and computer 

Fraud has been broadly described by the Australian Institute of Criminology (2011) as the use of deceitful and dishonest means to obtain an unjust advantage. This offence is indiscriminate, impacting negatively on individuals and organisations in quite profound ways.

Fraud is a major issue affecting residents, business owners and workers in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA, and a result, identified as a key crime priority in the Canterbury-Bankstown Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan 2016-2019.

The most common types of fraud-related offences include:

  • Identity theft – using someone else's personal information to steal or gain financial benefits;
  • Credit card fraud – using someone else's credit card details to pay for goods or services; and
  • Failing to pay for fuel – filling up car with petrol and driving off without paying. 

To date, fraud still remains an area of concern for Council, and one that requires continual address. Official data sources such as those by the NSW Police Force and the NSW BOCSAR show that the rate of fraud in many suburbs within the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA still remains high, when compared to the NSW state average. As well as impacting on the LGA, this criminal offence has also emerged nationally as a serious concern to governments at all levels as well as organisations such as the NSWPF, AFP and ACCC, given its national and international reach.

There are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself. These include, but not limited to:

  1. Avoid giving personal information over the phone, by email or on websites.
  2. Arrange to collect new credit cards in person, rather than receive them in the post.
  3. Never carry your PIN in your wallet or write it on your credit card.
  4. Lock your mailbox at all times.
  5. Never put identifying information on social networking sites.
  6. Do not give your credit card or personal details to anyone you don't know. If in doubt, call the bank or relevant agency yourself.
  7. Shred your personal documents when no longer required.
  8. Never give out your passwords.
  9. Change your passwords on a regular basis.
  10. Delete all suspicious email requests for money or personal information.

What to do if you become a victim of fraud or have been scammed

  1. Call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 to report the incident.
  2. Contact the relevant bank or other institutions immediately (i.e. Medicare, financial institutions) so they can cancel credit/debit cards and accounts.
  3. Report it to the relevant consumer agency for investigation.

You can report suspicions of Fraud to the Australian Competitio n and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by emailing the Fraud Control Officer at fraud@accc.gov.au.