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The ACCC is warning the community to be wary of scammers trying to ruin their Christmas holidays.

“Scammers often try to take advantage of people during the busy Christmas period and prey on our vulnerabilities at this time of year. For example, they may take advantage of you looking for a good deal on a family holiday, searching for a loved one’s present at an online store, or even that you’re expecting a present from someone through the post.”

Watch out for three common holiday season scams:

  • Travel scams: scammers trick their victims into believing they’ve won a travel prize or scored a really good deal on a travel package, like a cruise. Unfortunately these seemingly too-good-to-be-true holidays are nothing more than a scammer’s con. In the past 12 months, nearly $86,000 has been lost to this scam, with about 1750 reports.
  • Online shopping scams: scammers will set up believable looking online stores to trick people into goods that don’t really exist. They might also set up fake online classified or auction site listings. They entice people with legitimate looking discounts and may even advertise items as the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. This scam has cost Australians more than $1.3 million in the past 12 months, with more than 6440 reports.
  • Parcel delivery scams: with millions of packages moving across the country to get under a Christmas tree in time, scammers will send fake ‘missed delivery’ notices to potential victims. These scams are aimed at getting people to download malware or ransomware onto their PCs, which can be costly to remove; or steal their personal information. Scamwatch has received about 1700 reports of this scam in the past 12 months.

“Your personal information is often just as valuable to a scammer as your money so always be careful about the information you give out online,” Ms Rickard said.

“There are some simple tips you can follow to stay ahead of scammers these holidays.”

“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research on any online stores you’re using, especially if it’s for the first time. Never do a deal or make a payment outside the online auction site you are using. If you are buying from a classified website only hand over the money when you have physically inspected the goods. Finally, never open attachments or download files you receive out of the blue—no matter who the email comes from or how legitimate it looks,” Ms Rickard said.

Follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts to get up-to-date warnings.

Source: ScamWatch website (11 December 2017)

How to spot a fake email

How to spot a fake email

Watch out for fake parcel delivery scams this Christmas

Scammers are sending emails pretending to be from Australia Post or FedEx, to try and trick you into believing you have an ‘undeliverable package’. In some cases, these emails may include your name and address and include legitimate-looking company information, complete with fake logos.

The email may threaten to charge you a fee for holding your ‘undelivered item’, and will ask you to open an attachment, click a link or download a file to retrieve your parcel. If you follow these instructions, you will likely download a ransomware virus that locks your computer.

To unlock your computer, scammers demand payment in the form of bitcoins (a form of online currency) or wire transfer. Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your computer again.

Australia Post will never call you out of the blue to request payment or send you an email asking you to click on an attachment.

If you receive an email about an un-deliverable package, don’t open any attachments or download files – delete it straight away!

Find out more at Scamwatch.gov.au

geoff-provest-mp

Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, has welcomed the announcement that new Plain English Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) will roll out statewide on 3 December so perpetrators have no excuses for not understanding the orders.

“These new ADVOs use clear and simple language so there is no excuse for a domestic violence perpetrator to breach an order.”, Mr Provest said.

“We have removed all the complex legal jargon and spelled out a defendant’s obligations in Plain English, so they can no longer claim they didn’t understand the meaning or consequences of the ADVO.”

“The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found that one in five ADVOs are breached, and the NSW Government is making it clear – any breach is an unacceptable risk.”

“The new ADVOs are designed to put a stop to violence, intimidation and harassment through a clear explanation of what a perpetrator can and cannot do under the order.”

The new ADVO is also being translated into 29 different languages to assist people whose first language is not English.

In addition, the penalties for breaching an order, including up to two years in prison, have been moved to the top of the document so it’s now the first thing perpetrators see.

Chief Executive Officer of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, welcomed the introduction of Plain English ADVOs as a critical step to strengthen the safety of women.

“ADVOs are powerful tools but must be easily accessible and understood to ensure they are effective. We commend the NSW Government on this initiative,” Ms Davies said.

In addition, the NSW Government’s recent changes to ADVOs means final ADVO applications can be determined even if the victim doesn’t come to court, they will protect a victim’s current partner if they are being harassed by the victim’s ex-partner, and will stop self-represented defendants from personally cross-examining child witnesses during ADVO applications.

Soft Break and Enter - Secure your residence!
Have you heard the expression SOFT BREAK AND ENTER?

Recently, when speaking with our local Crime Prevention Officer, he explained that SOFT BREAK AND ENTER means a thief entering a home without forced entry. This comes about by household residents not securing their home correctly, leaving garage doors open, not securing the door from the garage to the house interior or otherwise leaving an entry point for criminals to enter by.

You have heard folk say, “It will not happen to me” and unfortunately it can.

This bad habit by householders means that money, handbags, vehicle keys or anything of value could be stolen, or even worse, come face to face with the person who wants to steal your property or even harm you.

You would have often heard the Police and NHW Volunteers use the expression LOCK IT OR LOSE IT. While this tends to apply to vehicle security it’s just as relevant (or more so) to your own home. This is not a slogan we take lightly and neither should householders; even when at home.

Residents, when home day or night, should secure their home. Make sure when you are in the backyard to ensure front of house is secured, that windows & doors are all locked, EVEN ON HOT DAYS. If you don’t have security screens fitted to your windows or doors then we strongly suggest inquiring into obtaining some.

It goes without saying when retiring for the night to check all entry points to make sure they are secure. We would even suggest double-checking. If you have children then also secure their bedroom windows. It has been known that intruders have gained entry to the home through a child’s bedroom window.

Now you know how important it is when we say LOCK IT OR LOSE IT. Practise good home security for your peace of mind and those in your household. Don’t let your neighbourhood become known as a soft target area

Important Contacts

Tweed Heads Police Station

07 5506 9443


Kingscliff Police Station

02 6674 9399


Brunswick Heads Police Station

02 6685 1277


Murwillumbah Police Station

02 6672 9499


Crime Stoppers 

1800 333 000


Police Assistance Line
Non Emergency
131 444

Emergency

000


State Emergency Service (SES)

132 500


Partners/Sponsors

Best Friends Pet Supercentre Tweed Heads South

Not Just a Copy Shop Tweed Heads South

NRMA

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