Credit card fraud doubles at Byron Bay

POLICE are warning people to protect their credit cards and not leave valuables in cars after the latest crime statistics showed a doubling of credit card fraud in Byron Bay over the past year.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics June quarterly report showed the Richmond-Tweed area having a 23.7% increase in fraud, however within Byron Shire the number of fraud cases increased 100%, said Dr Don Weatherburn, director of the bureau.

"In the June 2012 report there were 76 cases of fraud in the Byron Local Government Area. This year that figure jumped to 152 cases and the majority of those were credit card fraud," he said.

Tweed/Byron crime manager, Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said fraud was increasing and warned Byron Bay was particularly at risk with people leaving valuables, including wallets in their cars at the beach.

"It is on the increase and we need to make people aware of safety around their PIN numbers and credit cards," Det Insp Cullen said.

"We have had examples where a wallet is stolen with a PayPass card in it and this has led to 18 credit card offences as the offender has gone from shop to shop up the coast."

PayPass and Paywave cards can be used without signing.

"Byron Bay has beaches where people leave things in their car and criminals prey on this," Det Insp Cullen said.

He warned people to not let their credit cards be taken out of their view when in a shop: "Watch out for people leaving the room with your card as that is when skimming of a card's information can occur."

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