Personal violence is significantly under reported to Police with offenders targeting people who they perceive as vulnerable and less likely to resist.
There are a number of things you can do to appear confident in your surroundings:
- Always exhibit strong and positive body language to appear self-assured.
- Be aware of your surroundings and alert to what is going on around you.
- Listen to, trust, and act on your instincts and if you sense danger from someone, or a place, immediately remove yourself from the situation.
- Remove headphones or use of your mobile phone while out walking or crossing the road - distraction reduces your awareness of what is happening around you and can make you more vulnerable to a potential offender.
- Wherever possible, walk in well-lit areas and face oncoming traffic.
- Ensure you inform someone where you are going and an ETA for your return.
If your safety is threatened:
- Do what you think will best preserve your safety which includes running away, screaming or calling for assistance, or calmly negotiate with the offender. Always use physical defence as a last resort.
- If someone threatens you and tries to steal your possessions, the safest option is to surrender the items, don't put up a fight. Instead, take note of the offender's description and immediately report the incident to Police.
If you are a victim of any form of assault or violence, always report it to Police as soon as you can.
If you observe suspicious or threatening behaviour, contact Police immediately and if it is safe to do so, respond to any calls for assistance.
Personal Safety Information
Personal safety advice is now available in other languages. See below information in Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili and Vietnamese.
Protect My Identity
If criminals find out your personal details, they can be used to open bank accounts or get credit cards, loans, driving licences, goods or passports in your name.
Things you can do to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
- Limit what you share online.
- Set social media privacy settings to "private". Only share photos and posts with people you know and trust.
- Don't accept friend requests from strangers.
- Never update or confirm your passwords, PINs, credit card information or account details in messages. Many companies will not ask you this information.
- Think twice about sharing personal information into a website you are not familiar with.
- Use strong and unique passwords.
- Keep your devices updated with antivirus software.
- Don't use Wi-Fi hotspots when doing something personal or sensitive online.
- Make sure you destroy unwanted documents that contain personal details before you dispose of them.
- If your passport, driving licence or credit car has been lost or stolen, report it to the organisation issued it immediately.
- If you move house, change your address on all your financial information.
- Check bank and credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Report any unfamiliar transactions to your bank or credit card companies.
- Always lock your mailbox.
- Be wary of phone calls that ask for your personal information.
Who do you contact if you think your identity has been stolen?
- Immediately report it to your bank, local Police and social media account's website.
- Lodge a report with the Australian Cyber Security Centre's ReportCyber.
- Change the passwords on your accounts and close any unauthorised accounts.
Protect My Identity
Here are some simple steps you can take to help protect your identity from being stolen.
Do not give anyone your personal information unless you are sure they are legit.
Do not be pressured into giving away your information.
Lock your letterbox securely or organise a box at your local Post Office.
Shred sensitive documents before throwing them out.
Protect My Identity Information
We know that victims of scams often report that in hindsight they felt something wasn’t quite right at the time. We are raising awareness of the tactics scammers use, and encouraging you to ‘stop and think’ if something doesn’t FEEL, SEEM, LOOK or SOUND right, allowing time to trust your gut instinct and help prevent you from becoming a scam victim.
WHY DO SCAMS SUCCEED?
- They look like the real thing and meet your needs or desires.
- Scammers manipulate you by pushing your buttons to produce the automatic response they want.
- Never respond to any emails, text messages, letters or social media that look suspicious, or that have bad spelling or grammar.
- Check the email or web address against a legit one you have received from the business or organisation. Look for https
- Remember: A genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue asking for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. If you receive a message like this, ignore it!
- If someone you have never met before asks you for money, that should be a red flag. Do not give them any money.
- Always question uninvited approaches, in case it's a scam. This applies whether the contact is on the doorstep, over the phone, by post or online. Instead, contact the company directly yourself using a known email or phone number.
- If you are even a tiny bit suspicious, check with someone else before responding to the communication - a trusted relative, friend or neighbour.
- Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected text or email.
- Make sure you use strong passwords on all your online accounts, and change them often.
- Always have anti-virus software and a firewall installed on your computer, and update all software as soon as new versions become available.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: IF SOMETHING SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT USUALLY IS.
There are a number of dedicated websites to scams which provide valuable information on scams, how to prevent scams and what to do if you have been a victim of scams. We have listed a few of them below.
ACORN is the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, for all cybercrime not just scams. If you are the victim of a scam, you need to report through ACORN not to local police. Only go to local police if you have serious concerns for immediate safety; receiving direct and ongoing threats; child at risk etc.
The purpose of Scamwatch is to help you recognise scams and avoid them. The ACCC works with state and territory consumer protection agencies and other government agencies to promote awareness in the community about scams.
Scamnet WA is part of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. They have a newsletter which is worth subscribing to and scams relevant to Western Australia.
Stay Smart Online is another great resource for tips and tricks on protecting yourself online.
If you believe your identity has been compromised, go to idcare.org. They are a national identity theft support service and provide personalised support to individuals.
Check your email address on this website to see if it has been breached. If it has change your passwords, and consider deleting the account.