Fraud victim wants to help people save $1000s
FRAUD victim Martin Briscoe fears Rockhampton residents could have thousands of dollars stolen from them - he urged everyone to shred all their personal information.
The Yeppoon man's warning comes after reports of men going through peoples' bins were circulated.
While many thought the rubbish rummagers were going through the recycling bins to collect cans and bottles to cash in as part of a recycling scheme, Mr Briscoe (pictured left) said they were trying to commit fraud.
"All they need from you is your Medicare card number," Mr Briscoe said.
"They aren't going through your bins for bottles they are going through your bin to find your details and mail."
Mr Briscoe was cheated out of almost $2,000 across two separate occasions when people obtained his personal information by going through his rubbish.
He wanted to alert people of what could happen before it's too late.
"Fraudsters are getting as much information as they can," he said.
"Shred all the information, don't just throw out your electricity bill or water bills.
"They try to find out so much about you. It's identity fraud."
In May alone, Australians were tricked out of $1,713,746 by frauds attempting to gain people's personal information.
Identity theft was just one of the ways people were tricked out of their personal information, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.
While obtaining personal details via mail accounted for just one per cent of reports provided to the ACCC, the figure still equals almost $20,000.
A police spokesperson said identity fraud can be avoided by using common sense practices.
She urged people to secure their identity by destroying personal documents before putting them in the bin.
She also urged people to report suspicious behaviour to police.
Regional Rockhampton Council Waste and Recycling Committee chair councillor Neil Fisher echoed comments of the police.
"If you see somebody going through your bin while it is on your property, please contact the police," Mr Fisher said.
"Follow the advice of the Australian Federal Police when it comes to protecting themselves from identity theft, and shred any documents containing personal or financial information before they are placed in recycling bins."
He said the council can also help once the bin is on the kerb.
"Thanks to a new Local Law we can issue on the spot fines of up to $261 if we find the Local Law has been breached," he said.
Local Law states people cannot disturb or otherwise interfere with the contents of a bin.
"If any resident has concerns about people accessing recycling bins on the kerb please call the council," he said.
Report rubbish rummagers to the council on 1300 225 577.
Or contact your local police station or Policelink on 131 444.