Tweed Heads Geoff Provest MP and Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant MP
Do you have concerns for a friend or relatives well-being?? Have they not been home or in contact??
Every year more than 35,000 people are reported missing across the country – with around 12,500 in NSW. This equates to one person disappearing every 15 minutes.
National Missing Persons Week runs from 2-8 August and aims to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia.
While the majority of people are located within a short period, there are approximately 650 long-term missing person cases in NSW. Research indicates for every person who goes missing, on average 12 people are affected in some way.
We must look out for one another and identify signs that someone isn’t coping and recognise if behaviour is out of character – help is just a phone call away.
If you have concerns for a family, friend, neighbour or colleague I urge you to follow your instincts and report to the police.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant stressed there is no minimum time frame to wait before contacting NSW Police with a missing persons report.
“If you have fears for the welfare of a loved one I urge you to come forward so the NSW Police Force can assist as soon as possible,” Mr Grant said.
“I thank the NSW Police Force who work tirelessly with communities across the State following leads and supporting and reuniting families.”
Friends and family members of those missing a loved one can get support from the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit (FFMPU).
The unit does an incredible job supporting families and friends as they deal with the challenges of not knowing what has happened to a missing loved one.
The FFMPU is part of the Department of Justice and is the only service in Australia to provide specialist counselling and support for missing a loved one.
An Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce initiative
If you haven’t stopped and thought about how you keep your private information secure, chances are you could be leaving it wide open for scammers to use for fraudulent purposes. When scammers steal your details, they can use them for all sorts of identity crime such as making unauthorised purchases on your credit card, or using your identity to open accounts such as banking, telephone or energy services, take out loans or carry out other illegal business under your name.
These days scammers are after more than just financial information. All your personal details including photos, date of birth, home address, Tax File Number or driver’s license numbers are valuable to scammers – these are your unique identification records that are often used to verify who you are.
A determined scammer will use a number of sneaky methods to steal your information. Scammers have been known to pay people to rummage through rubbish dumps looking for bills or bank statements, or to simply steal mail directly from people’s letterboxes. They also use the internet to search through public listings, social media profiles and even blog comments to piece together your details.
On a more sophisticated level, scammers create fake websites, fake online surveys and fake competitions with enticing prizes to ‘phish’ for your information. They also send official-looking emails or telephone you directly, pretending to be from a trusted source such as your bank, telecommunications provider, a government department or even a charity organisation, asking for your details.
You may not know you have had your identity stolen until you check your bank account, or find out that your credit rating has changed.
Having your identity stolen can be both financially and emotionally devastating. It can take months to reclaim your identity, and the impact of having it stolen can last for years. National Consumer Fraud Week 2015 is all about learning how to keep your personal data safe from scammers, and prevent identity theft from happening to you.
To leave scammers out in the cold, follow SCAMwatch’s Top 6 Protect Yourself tips:
Keep your personal details secure: Your postal mail and your online presence are the first place a scammer will look to piece together your details. Lock your mailbox, and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing out. Be careful sharing information about yourself online, including social media, blogs and other online forums.
Think twice about what you say and do in an online environment: Whilst there are times when your personal details are required for legitimate reasons, such as signing up to a new service or buying something, always check that the person or organisation is who they say they are. Stop and think before filling in surveys, entering competitions, clicking on links or attachments, or even ‘befriending’, ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ something.
Keep your mobile devices and computers secure: These are a treasure trove of personal information for scammers. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to a scammer – always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your Wi-Fi network with a password and avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.
Choose your passwords carefully: Passwords are often the only barrier between scammers and your valuable information. Set and use strong passwords which are difficult to guess, and change them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Beware of any request for your details or money: Scammers will try to trick you into handing over your data by using the names of well-known companies or government departments. If you think it’s a scam, DON’T RESPOND. Use the phone book or an online search to check the organisation’s contact details. NEVER use the contact details provided in the original request.
Get a copy of your credit report: Your credit report contains information on your credit history. You can get a free copy of your report every year to check that no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts. Find out how to get your free credit report on ASIC’s MoneySmart
If you think your banking details have been compromised, you should contact your bank or credit union immediately to let them know. If you think your identity information has been stolen, you should contact iDcare – a free government‑industry service which works with you to develop specific response plans to your situation to reduce risk and impact.
Visit the SCAMwatch website to find out more about the various forms of identity theft, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed. You can also follow SCAMwatch on Twitter or subscribe to SCAMwatch Radars .
Get smarter with your data
National Consumer Fraud Week 2015
An initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce
Tweed Valley Nighbourhood Watch Inc. is a Member/Partner of the Taskforce and urges you to protect yourself against scams.
National Identity Fraud Awareness Week (12-18 October)
Identity crime has become one of the most common and fastest growing crimes in Australia. Each year around five percent of the adult population, or about 900,000 people, report being a victim of identity crime resulting in a financial loss.
Recent estimates by the Attorney-General’s Department indicate that identity crime costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year, with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams.
More alarmingly, identity crime continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime, which in turn costs Australia around $15 billion annually.
The AFP is working together with National Identity Fraud Awareness Week, state and territory police, commonwealth and state government departments and industry to fight this crime.
Both individuals and businesses are at risk of identity theft. By practicing sound identity security habits and implementing a few personal and organisational security measures, you will join us in the fight against identity fraud.
Simple changes in personal behaviour can make a difference to identity security.
Emergency services have launched a new smartphone app to help Australians call the right number for help in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Emergency+ was launched today by the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, at the City of Sydney Fire Station.
Developed by the Triple Zero Awareness Work Group (TZAWG), a national body that represents emergency call-taking agencies and their government and industry partners throughout Australia, the app was developed in response to a number of problems experienced by emergency call-takers and emergency services officers.
The TZAWG has identified that more than 66% of incoming calls to Triple Zero (000) are now made from mobile phones.
However, mobile callers often do not know exactly where they are, meaning call-processing times are longer and call-takers are then unavailable to take the next incoming emergency call.
Operational Communications and Information Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Barrie, said the most critical piece of information emergency call-takers need is the exact location of the caller.
“If a Triple Zero (000) operator doesn’t know where the caller is, they can’t send help,” Assistant Commissioner Barrie said.
“Location is the first and most important thing we need to know. If we at least have that, we always have a starting point.”
The Emergency+ app uses the existing GPS functionality of smartphones to enable callers to provide emergency call-takers with their location information as determined by their smartphone.
When activated, the built-in accessibility features of a smartphone will describe aloud what appears on-screen, so a caller can use the app without seeing it.
Research also shows that few people know the State Emergency Services (SES) 132 500 or Police Assistance Line (PAL) 131 444 numbers, which means their default action is to call Triple Zero, needlessly tying up emergency call-takers.
The Emergency+ app provides users with the contact numbers and a short explanation of when to call the non-emergency numbers such as the Police Assistance Line and the SES national number.
This is to help members of the public dial the correct number, and reduce the number of calls to the Triple Zero service that should be directed to another service.
Product Safety Week 2013 is an initiative by Product Safety Australia and the ACCC
Product Safety Week is on during 7–14 October 2013, with activities happening around Australia and online to raise awareness about making safe, buying safe and using safe products.
There’s something for everyone during Product Safety Week – consumers and businesses alike: parents, kids, safety experts, compliance professionals, small, medium and big businesses, and anyone else who makes, buys or uses consumer goods.