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Been Scammed? Demand Accountability from Australian Police

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cybertrace

October 11, 2023 · 9 min read

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Cybertrace has compiled this guide to assist you with taking further steps

Been scammed but police won’t do anything? You’re not alone. In the modern era, cyber fraud has become a destructive threat that haunts the digital space. Australia, with its robust digital economy, is no exception to falling victim to the sophisticated manoeuvres of cyber criminals. Yet, a staggering reality shadows our expectation of justice: a significant portion of cyber-fraud cases go uninvestigated by various Australian police agencies. Why? A common conjecture points towards a lack of expertise, motivation, and resources dedicated to navigating the intricate web spun by cyber-fraudsters. Luckily, Cybertrace is here to guide you through the process of learning why police didn’t appear to act when they should, and what to do next.

Unveiling a Discouraging Reality

For many victims who have been scammed, the journey post-reporting their case is obscured by frustration and discouragement as they witness their legitimate concerns being sidelined or ‘written off.’ Many victims turn to private investigators such as Cybertrace to guide them through the nightmarish process. The procedural deficiency in investigating cyber-fraud often leaves victims in a lurch, with their cases unexplored and the perpetrators unpunished. The reasoning is often shrouded in excuses, ranging from insufficient evidence to prioritisation of resources elsewhere. However, in an era where digital transactions and online activities are omnipresent, is it justifiable for such cases to be swept under the rug?

Should Taxpayers Concede?

The unequivocal answer is no. Taxpayers, as the financial backbone and beneficiaries of governmental services, should not merely acquiesce to a system that allows cyber criminals to roam free. The imperative question here is not just about retrieving lost assets, but also safeguarding the digital sphere and ensuring accountability of our law enforcement agencies. If you have been scammed, you will no doubt feel aggrieved by the apparent lack of action and you may now be seeking guidance.

Paving the Path Towards Accountability

A constructive step towards enhancing accountability is asserting our rights to access information. By submitting a request to procure a copy of the police report pertinent to our case, we arm ourselves with documented evidence of the actions (or inaction) undertaken. This assures that the case is duly recorded in the police corporate reporting system, ensuring all actions are under scrutiny and police officials remain accountable. As a victim who has been scammed, you must demand greater accountability.

Ensuring Your Case is Addressed

Upon receiving your report, scrutinising its content becomes pivotal. If your case has been unceremoniously closed or cleared without a thorough investigation being apparent, it becomes imperative to channel your grievance through the state police complaint portal and raise the fact that you have been scammed, with little to no investigation taking place.

Victim Statement: A Crucial yet Often Overlooked Component

Here, a pivotal red flag of negligence in cyber-fraud investigation arises when your victim statement is not sought by police in Australia.. This statement is not a mere formality; it is a requisite to advance any criminal proceeding in Australia, especially for indictable offences like fraud which are treated with gravity across all Australian jurisdictions.

In a realm that is increasingly digital, cyber fraud cannot be treated as a secondary concern. The assurance that police agencies will investigate and work towards justice is fundamental in fortifying trust in our digital economy and ensuring that the victims of cyber-fraud are not just heard, but their concerns addressed with the rigor and seriousness they warrant.

Thus, as taxpayers and citizens, our role transcends beyond being mere bystanders to become proactive participants in demanding accountability and ensuring that our police agencies are equipped, motivated, and rigorously active in the battle against cyber-fraud. This is not just about reclaiming lost funds, but safeguarding our collective digital future against unbridled criminal activity.

image of police not helping wearing blue uniform.

Freedom of Information

In Australia, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can typically be made through specific portals or via communication with relevant authorities. Here’s some guidance regarding websites or portals where FOI requests might be made in various Australian jurisdictions, but please note that procedures and websites can change, so it is a good idea to verify through a quick internet search or a call to the relevant authority for further guidance.

New South Wales (NSW)

For the police: https://portal.police.nsw.gov.au/s/gipa-triage

For other government departments, visit: https://www.information.nsw.gov.au/

Victoria (VIC)

Visit the Freedom of Information Online website: https://online.foi.vic.gov.au/foi/request.doj

Queensland (QLD)

The Queensland Government provides a useful starting point at: https://www.rti.qld.gov.au/

South Australia (SA)

The State Records of South Australia provides FOI advice at: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/about-sa/government/FOI-application

Western Australia (WA)

For FOI requests, visit: https://www.wa.gov.au/service/justice/administrative-law/submit-freedom-of-information-foi-access-application

Tasmania (TAS)

Refer to the Ombudsman Tasmania website: https://www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au/right-to-information

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Information can be found at the ACT Government’s Freedom of Information Portal: https://www.act.gov.au/accessCBR

Northern Territory (NT)

Check out the NT.GOV.AU website for information on how to apply for information: https://nt.gov.au/law/rights/freedom-of-information

Federal

For national departments or agencies in Australia, visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website: https://www.oaic.gov.au/

Each jurisdiction has its own process and might involve different departments for various types of information. Ensure to check specific details on their respective websites about how to file a Freedom of Information request and any associated fees. Remember that certain documents or pieces of information might be exempt from FOI requests to protect privacy or security. Always refer to the most up-to-date information available on the official websites or contact the department directly if you have specific queries.

How will submitting an FOI request help my case?

Enhancing Your Case: Leveraging Police Reports and Private Investigations in Cyber Fraud

Navigating through the aftermath of cyber fraud can be perplexing. Reviewing your police report not only provides clarity on the depth of the investigation conducted but also guides the way for potential alternative actions. Let’s break it down into simpler steps:

Examining the Police Report:
Begin by scrutinising your police report to evaluate the thoroughness of the initial investigation. Determine whether pivotal aspects, like checks with banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, have been explored.

Bolstering Private Investigations:
If you opt for a private investigation with specialists like Cybertrace, the information from your police report, especially related to financial transactions or digital exchanges, becomes invaluable. It assists to guide private investigators by identifying new avenues and leads that might have been overlooked or unexplored by law enforcement after you have been scammed.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the limits and challenges:

Expertise with Limitations:
While private entities like Cybertrace might unearth leads potentially missed by law enforcement, they may encounter barriers, particularly when soliciting evidence from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, due to legal and jurisdictional restrictions.

Complementing Police Work:
Law enforcement can aid in navigating through these barriers, providing a more robust framework for your private investigation. Thus, their role becomes pivotal, even in cases pursued privately.

Confronting Case Closure:
After you have been scammed, police may close cases for varied reasons, including challenges with international jurisdictions. Consequently, leads from financial institutions or digital platforms, which may be crucial in your private investigation, might be left unexplored.

Your journey doesn’t end with a police report. Whether you choose to proceed with specialists like Cybertrace or explore other avenues, keeping a meticulous eye on your report, understanding its implications, and recognising the potential of private investigations become pivotal steps in your quest for resolution and justice in the face of cyber fraud.

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List of Police Complaint Websites in Australia

Filing a complaint against police inaction or misconduct is a vital part of maintaining accountability and integrity within law enforcement agencies across Australia. Below is a guide for submitting complaints in various police jurisdictions. It’s crucial to check the current status of these links or platforms since websites can be updated or changed:

New South Wales (NSW)

You can lodge a complaint at: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/providing_feedback/lodge_a_complaint

Victoria (VIC)

Information about how to make a complaint can be found at: https://www.police.vic.gov.au/complaints

Queensland (QLD)

For submitting a complaint, visit: https://www.police.qld.gov.au/online/ComplimentsandComplaints.htm

South Australia (SA)

Complaints can be lodged through: https://www.police.sa.gov.au/about-us/key-contacts

Western Australia (WA)

To submit a complaint, refer to: https://www.police.wa.gov.au/Contact-Us/Make-a-complaint

Tasmania (TAS)

The complaint process is outlined at: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/about-us/compliments-and-complaints/

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

For lodging a complaint, visit: https://www.afp.gov.au/about-us/feedback-and-complaints

Northern Territory (NT)

For complaints, refer to: https://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/contact-us/compliments-complaints

For complaints involving Federal Police:

Visit: https://www.afp.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/complaints-and-feedback/complaints

Ensure to follow the respective procedures as outlined on each platform. Filing a complaint generally involves providing specific details about the incident, including the date, time, location, and the officers involved, if known. You might also need to provide your personal information and a detailed account of the event or inaction that prompted the complaint.

Remember that if your complaint involves a sensitive or urgent matter, it may be recommended that you seek legal advice to explore all available options. Always utilise the most updated information available on the official websites or contact the department directly for specific inquiries. If you need Cybertrace assistance at any point, please contact us and we will guide you through the process.

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