Police arrest man for identity theft, South Australia

A man has been arrested after he allegedly provided false identification and purchased a jetski and other items.

Police received information from a victim that he had been sent paperwork and registration papers for a jet ski that he had not purchased. The 40-year-old Adelaide man had recently lost his wallet containing his driver’s licence, bank cards and other identification.

After an investigation, during the morning on Monday 10 January, police attended and searched a New Port home and located numerous fraudulent documents, credit cards, an EFTPOS machine plus stolen bicycles.

Eastern District patrols also located a jetski and trailer that was allegedly purchased fraudulently. These items and other stolen property have been returned to the owners.

A 43-year-old man from New Port was arrested and charged with two counts of identity theft, deception and dishonestly dealing with documents. He was refused police bail and appeared in Port Adelaide Magistrates Court today where he remanded in custody.

In light of the COVID-19 scams currently circulating, it is timely to address the issue of identity theft and how you can prevent yours from being stolen – your identity is one of the most valuable things you have.

Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves a person stealing your name for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services or other benefits. If your identity is misused a person may access your money and accumulate large debts in your name, which will affect your credit rating.

To reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft, please consider the following crime prevention tips:

  • Secure your letter box with a lock and empty it on a daily basis. Arrange collection of your mail by a trusted person when on holidays. If you move, remember to re-direct your mail promptly.
  • Protect your personal documents at all times. Never throw personal documents in the bin – destroy them using a shredder or a similar method.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you publish on social media and online.
  • Ensure your computers and mobile phones are protected with regularly updated anti-virus software. Avoid using public computers for personal activities like online banking and shopping.
  • Never give your personal details to an unsolicited person.
  • Always check your receipt and credit card statements carefully for discrepancies. If you discover unauthorised transactions, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Make enquiries on the arrival of unexpected credit cards or bills for goods and services you did not order.

To report a scam or for further information visit www.cyber.gov.au

Scammers are exploiting the fear of COVID-19 so keep up to date with the latest reports of scams received by SA Police and follow a few simple tips to help protect yourself.

SA Police is committed to working with the community to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime. To access our full range of crime prevention posters, fact sheets and booklets (including Scams and Cybercrime and Internet Safety and Security) please visit: www.police.sa.gov.au/safety-and-security-tips

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