Fraud frustration: police slow to act

By MICHELLE DAY

TRACEY Morris lost $5000 through internet banking fraud last November.

Five months later the Woolgoolga business-owner is losing her temper as police struggle to resolve the case, even though her bank identified a suspect and returned the stolen funds.

"I am totally disgusted by the lack of interest from police," Ms Morris fumed yesterday.

"I just want them to do their job ? they've been given this person's name, address and how long it took them to get the bank account details from the security at BCU . . . I'm still shaking my head. The coppers are on the doorstep if you make a noise, but they're not interested in internet fraud of $5000?"

Ms Morris discovered the theft, which occurred on November 6 last year, when paying staff wages.

"I reported it to BCU straight away and they were on the ball, I can't fault them . . . then I went straight to the police," she said.

"I first reported it over the phone and they said they would come and see me, but after about five days of phone calls and them promising to come out I went in to the Woolgoolga Station."

No one was there so Ms Morris used the intercom and was told to go to the Coffs Harbour station.

"Then the officer said you live at Woopi, you should take it there! He brought up the name of the person that took the money and said that was probably the offender. He said he couldn't be 100 per cent sure, but it would take time to get a Queensland officer to go and check it out because the offender lived there."

Ms Morris also presented the officer with three letters received in the mail notifying her that she had won a sum of money but needed to pay a small amount to claim her winnings.

"He reluctantly took photocopies," she said.

After making several phone calls to check on the progress of the investigation and being shuffled from officer to officer, Ms Morris was told the delay was due to the crime occurring across three states, with the suspect in Queensland, the victim in New South Wales, and the financial institution in Victoria.

"They said once it is out of their jurisdiction it is out of their hands, but they couldn't tell me whose hands it was in . . . then they told me that because I got my money back, technically there had been no theft. I said 'Are you serious? I'm paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes for you guys and for what?'"

Bewildered, all Ms Morris wants is justice.

"I want the person to be apprehended . . . I'm just waiting for the police to do their job."

Coffs Harbour Police yesterday said inquiries into the case were continuing.



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