Stafford (BRISBANE), 1 August 2013.
As police announce ATM card skimming devices have been found once again in the Brisbane area, a credit expert is warning the public about the lesser known but more dangerous effects of card skimming – identity theft.
Graham Doessel who is CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair, a national firm based in Brisbane’s Stafford, says many people are aware that banks will reimburse monies lost due to card skimming and other related fraud, but when it comes to fraudsters assuming the victim’s identity and taking out credit in their name, they have no idea how difficult a task recovery is.
“You can’t be ‘reimbursed’ for identity theft – it is a difficult process to try and recover a good name which has been tarnished, because the victim must prove they didn’t initiate the credit and show cause as to why the credit listing is unlawful,” Mr Doessel says.
He goes on to say, that with fraudsters often preferring a more ‘instant’ gratification, identity theft from card skimming is probably not widespread – but is a risk nonetheless.
“A patient fraudster has a lot to lose, but a lot more to gain from attempting this form of fraud, so it could potentially mean the card holder is not a victim of any un-authorised transactions right after the skimming, but their details are misused in the future for credit applications,” he says.
“With no easy way to trace the source of the identity theft, unfortunately the victim’s life can be made a living nightmare – with a mountain of debt and locked out of credit for 5 years unless they can prove their case of identity theft to Credit Providers,” he says.
He says the best way of preventing this type of fraud is for consumers to be aware of what ATM card skimming devices look like – and take a moment to check the machine before they use it.
Queensland Police state on their news website that the device found on an Ascot ATM in late July had a cover plate placed over the original card entry and a small camera – no more than a tiny dot at the bottom left side of the device which records the victim’s PIN number.
When card skimming devices were found at two separate locations in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall last November, the Queensland Fraud Squad’s Detective Superintendent Brian Hay explained how to check whether ATM card slots had been tampered with.
“Make sure it doesn’t look like there’s an attachment to the facial plate. Grab that card entry point, give it a bit of a wiggle and make sure there’s no flexion … It can pop off in your hand.”
Superintendent Hay also warned consumers to be wary of identity theft.
“Understand, that if you’ve been compromised it’s not just your money that’s been lost, but the crooks now have your identity,” he said.
Mr Doessel says consumers need to stay up to date with the latest scams and ways their personal and financial details can be at risk.
“At the very least, log on to sites like the ACCC’s SCAMwatch regularly, and get to know what new threats are out there that could put you and your credit file at risk,” he says.
The SCAMwatch website warns about the risks of card skimming and identity theft.
“Card skimming is also a way for scammers to steal your identity (your personal details) and use it to commit identity fraud. By stealing your personal details and account numbers the scammer may be able to borrow money or take out loans in your name,” the website states.
Police say if anyone believes that they have located a skimming device on an ATM they should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Graham Doessel – Founder and CEO MyCRA Ph 3124 7133
Lisa Brewster – Media Relations MyCRA firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph 07 3124 7133 www.mycra.com.au www.mycra.com.au/blog
246 Stafford Rd, STAFFORD Qld
MyCRA Credit Rating Repair is Australia’s number one in credit rating repairs. We permanently remove defaults from credit files.
Queensland Police say a skimming device like the one pictured, was fitted to an ATM in the Ascot area. http://mypolice.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ATM-skimming.jpg
Image: naypong/ www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net