3 October 2011
Many of the new forms of online fraud are sophisticated and elaborate – often even fooling those who believe they are computer-savvy, according to a national credit repairer.
Director of MyCRA Credit Repairs, Graham Doessel dismisses claims victims of online fraud are stupid and are ‘asking’ to be ripped off and says keeping abreast of current scams is sometimes the only way to avoid being a victim.
“Some of my clients have been cleverly fooled by scammers, who have weaved a tangled web of lies and deceit. It is not just a case of ‘oh we were asked to send money so we did’ – most people believed they were dealing with legitimate companies and have been unlucky to end up on the wrong end of fraud,” Mr Doessel says.
Mr Doessel’s comments come as Superintendent Hay, head of the Fraud and Corporate Crime Group, told the Brisbane Times recently, each month about 2000 Queenslanders transferred a total of $2 million to scammers in Nigeria and Ghana.
Superintendant Hay, joined Investigators from Nigeria, Ghana and the United States at a conference south of Brisbane last week, focused on tackling the global “fraud pandemic”.
He urged people to have more compassion for victims of scams.
“Fraud victims are victims of a crime, they need our respect and need our support and need our help to rebuild their lives,” he says.
Mr Doessel says his company helps people clear adverse listings from their credit file which they believe should not be there. He says when a client experiences identity theft which leads to the scammer taking out credit in their name, they are left financially crippled.
“Basically the victim ends up with defaults on their credit file which unfortunately means they are black listed from credit for 5 years. These victims can’t borrow for anything – they can’t even take out a mobile phone plan,” he says.
Identity theft and subsequent fraud has become rampant worldwide. A survey commissioned by the Attorney-General’s office in July showed 1 in 6 Australians had been or knew someone who had been the victim of identity theft or misuse.
The survey also revealed that the majority of identity theft or misuse occurred over the Internet (58 per cent), or through the loss of a credit or debit card (30 per cent). Stolen identify information was primarily used to purchase goods or services (55 per cent) or to obtain finance, credit or a loan (26 per cent).
Mr Doessel says by blaming the victims of identity theft and scams, we are making light of the often sophisticated nature of fraud and for this reason more people could possibly fall victim to it in the future.“
People need to know this business is lucrative, and the fraudsters are vehement. New scams are being cooked up every day to dupe people into giving over their money or their personal details. Just because people aren’t fooled by the current scams, doesn’t mean they are totally immune,” he says.
He says internet users need to keep up-to-date with all scams being perpetrated in the community, and this can start with subscribing to the Government’s Stay Smart Online, and SCAMWatch websites, which alerts people to new scams and viruses as they arise.
“Unfortunately this is a war we are all waging against unknown criminals from an unknown location, that can be whoever they want to be in order to steal people’s money or their good name. Fighting it starts with risk awareness and being extremely protective over who gets our personal information,” he says.
Lisa Brewster – Media Relations Mob: 0450 554 007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Doessel – Director Ph 07 3124 7133