New campaign to peeve identity thieves

Published date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

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A council in one of the state’s identity-theft hotspots is fighting back against fraudsters with a new video campaign to protect residents all over NSW.

Attorney General Mark Speakman has today launched Strathfield Municipal Council’s Protect Your ID, Protect U video that blows the lid on common identity theft scams and shows people how to avoid being targeted.

“The multilingual campaign will help all residents, but in particular people who are ‘soft targets’ for identity theft, such as those with limited English or computer literacy,” Mr Speakman said.

“The video includes advice from policing, cyber security and criminology experts as well as a victim’s account of the damage ID hackers can cause if unchecked.”

The NSW Government provided council with a $28,000 grant to develop resources to reduce identity theft, as part of its Safer Community Compact grants’ program.

Mayor of Strathfield Gulian Vaccari said there are many simple and inexpensive ways to guard your identity.

“Locking your letter box, frequently changing passwords and refusing to provide personal information to unsolicited callers and emailers are just a few of the ways you can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity fraud,” Mayor Vaccari said.

“Many of us become complacent and think ‘it will never happen to me’ but identity crime costs Australia $1.6 billion each year and it could happen to anyone.”

The Strathfield Local Government Area has the highest rate of fraud in NSW outside the Sydney CBD, with 452 incidents recorded in 2017. The area is currently experiencing high population growth particularly in close proximity to current crime hotspots.