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Researcher Jennifer Stone
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Fraud on Credit cards
NSW Police confirm mail theft link to international ID fraud
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 11:11:39 AM
Fraud and Cybercrime Squad detectives have established direct links between international identity thieves and the large-scale theft of residential mail in New South Wales.
The theft of credit cards and identity documents from suburban letter boxes has long been an issue for police but NSW detectives now have determined that in many cases, the offences are being directed by organised crime figures overseas.
The head of the State Crime Command Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Arthur Katsogiannis, says on the surface it might seem like petty crime but local criminals, known as “boxers,” are selling the stolen identity documents to international syndicates.
“Information from documents such as bank statements and utility bills is then used by the overseas criminals to apply for large loans in the names of their unwitting victims, thereby defrauding financial institutions,” Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis said.
“Often the street-level thieves are equipped with specially-modified tools to pry open apartment block letter boxes, robbing scores of victims at once,” he added.
“Others are using master keys that open dozens of letter boxes at a time.
“The low level thieves tend to keep any credit cards they find to fraudulently purchase goods for later re-sale whilst the identity documents are provided to the international identity theft operations for the larger frauds,” Det. Supt Katsogiannis said.
The revelation comes as NSW Police joins forces with a range of other crime prevention partners, including Crime Stoppers, Australia Post, the Department of Justice, the University of Technology ‘Design Out Crime’ program and the City of Sydney to launch the “MailSafe” campaign, providing residents with advice about how to better secure their mail.
NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Crime Prevention, Brad Shepherd, has urged residents to use padlocks on their letter boxes or install improved locks and where possible clear mail regularly.
Residents should also re-direct mail or have their friends collect their letters if they going away on holidays.
Chief Superintendent Shepherd is also urging strata managers to consider the secure placement and design of letter boxes and the installation of quality CCTV systems to catch and deter mail thieves.
“It’s not petty theft,” Chief Supt Shepherd said, “We know mail theft is the start of a greater fraud problem.”
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this type of crime to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our social media pages.