Massive rise in fraud
Friday, 9th September, 2011
By Kurtis Eichler
Cases of fraud in the city have risen by more than 80 per cent, according to new crime statistics.
Fraud offences rose by 81 per cent while thefts from dwellings fell by 39.7 per cent from July 2009 to June 2011, the NSW Recorded Crime Statistics June quarterly found.
The highest number of fraud cases reported for any one month was 13 in May this year.
The most break and enters to a private dwellings occurred in March last year when 29 were reported.
Crime Manager for the Barrier Local Area Command, Detective Inspector Mick Stoltenberg, said the hike in fraud cases was not surprising.
He said fraud including internet and phone con-artists who pretended to be from the Australian Taxation Office or a superannuation firm, had increased over the last 12 months.
“There has also been some cheque related fraud,” DI Stoltenberg told the BDT.
He recalled one scam involving the sale of rainwater tanks.
“People ordered or paid for these cheap rainwater tanks and they never turned up and they never got their money back.
“It kicked off last year and flowed into this year.”
DI Stoltenberg said he was also “not at all” surprised at a drop in home break-ins.
“We’re constantly pushing people to target-harden their homes simply by locking your doors and windows and getting someone responsible to look after your house and collect your mail,” he said.
He said the unofficial neighbourhood watch where neighbours look out for one another also helped.
DI Stoltenberg also had advice to people about leaving valuables such as bikes and scooters lying in the front yard: “Put it away after you play.”