By Third Party, 14 October 2010
Page last updated at 3:51 PM 14-10-2010
As part of National Identity Fraud Awareness Week, the National Manager of AFP High Tech Crime Operations Neil Gaughan has urged the public to learn how they can protect themselves against identity fraud.
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said the public has an important role to play in alerting groups such as SCAMWatch to possible identity fraud scams.
This helps the AFP and other law enforcement agencies identify and prevent instances of identity theft in Australia.
“Gathering this information will help us improve the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of scam offenders,” he said.
“If you have suffered a personal loss, you also must report it to both your local police and your financial institution.”
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said criminals use any means possible to obtain personal details from unsuspecting victims. This includes stealing mail from unsecured letterboxes, obtaining bank account details and sending out scam emails.
He said the crime of phishing is a good example of how people can become the victim of an identity scam. Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said fake communications claiming to be from banks or other institutions ‘phish’ for personal information that can be exploited.
“Some of these emails threaten to contact the police if you don’t respond, claim to be working with the police to investigate the matter, or offer to “pay back” money into your account. You should ignore these emails and delete them immediately.”
He provided a list of tips to help you keep your identity safe. They include never responding to emails or cold calls purporting to be from banks or financial institutions; never providing personal information online; never putting your account or credit card details in an email; and never conducting financial transactions on a website you are not certain is genuine.
The AFP is represented on Identity Security Strike Teams in several capital cities. These multi-agency teams are dedicated to the detection, investigation, disruption and prosecution of serious and organised identity related crime syndicates.
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