Scammers charge more than $5000 to credit card held by City of Kwinana... twice

Rachel FennerSound Telegraph
Thousands of dollars were charged to a City of Kwinana credit card.
Camera IconThousands of dollars were charged to a City of Kwinana credit card. Credit: The West Australian/Aris Suwanmalee - stock.adobe.co

The City of Kwinana was recently a victim of credit card fraud not once but twice.

Scammers charged more than $5000 to a credit card held by the city’s human resource manager.

Some charges amounted to about $1, while others were for up to $991.

The thefts were discussed when the city’s monthly financial report was tabled at the February 28 council meeting.

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“This fraudulent activity was reported to the bank as soon as it was observed, the bank refunded the city and it issued a new card,” chief executive Wayne Jack told the Sound Telegraph.

“Unfortunately, this new card was hacked again and the second round of fraudulent activity was reported to the bank.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that 8.1 per cent of Australians (1.7 million people) experienced card fraud in the 2021-22 financial year.

Common ways details were known to have been obtained were via the internet (21 per cent), card details copied or obtained during use (9.6 per cent), in person (5.1 per cent) or via a phone call (2.6 per cent).

It was not revealed how the scammers accessed the city’s card details.

A subscription to ChatGPT was also questioned at the meeting, with a councillor asking what the city was doing to educate employees about the appropriate use of AI and the protection of sensitive data.

It was revealed that managers had been encouraged to use AI in writing reports and problem-solving.

The city is developing a policy around its use.

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