Police have issued a warning to the public following several recent reports of scams relating to credit repair services.
Since July 2016 there has been numerous reports made to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) relating to alleged deceptions conducted by persons purporting to be associated with Credit Restore Pty Ltd, based in Evandale, South Australia.
The scammers use the phone or internet to approach vulnerable members of the public who have made enquiries relating to credit restoration services. The suspects then offer a ‘too good to be true’ finance contract, with supporting documents that appear legitimate. The victims are required to provide 100 points of ID and pre-pay a ‘loan insurance’ or similar in order to secure the loan. Once the pre-payment has been made, the scammers cease contact and victims report not being able to contact anyone regarding their loan.
To date thousands of dollars have been obtained from victims in South Australia and Victoria. Preliminary investigation suggests the scammers are involved in an interstate/overseas syndicate and are sophisticated in their methodologies.
There is a concern that victims are also placing themselves at risk of potential identity theft by supplying ID documents to unknown persons.
To reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a scam, please consider the following crime prevention tips:
* Always know who you are communicating with and where your information is going. If you are uncertain, confirm the contact is legitimate through methods other than what they have provided.
* Never give your personal details, passwords, credit card or online account details to a person you cannot identify in an official capacity.
* Legitimate companies, particularly financial institutions will not send emails requesting you to log on to a link – log on independently if you need to access that site.
* Ignore emails and text messages that advise you have won a competition that you did not enter.
* Do not send money to receive lottery winnings or to claim a prize.
* Never give an unsolicited person remote access to your computer. You may compromise the security of your device and your personal information.
* Ensure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
Please share this information – and discuss the prevalence of these type of scams with people in your circle who may be less savvy about scams and identity theft.
For further information or if you believe you are the victim of an online scam visit ACORN at www.acorn.gov.au