Inspector Darren Somerville, from Gladstone police, says thieves using the paywave option to purchase goods with stolen debit and credit cards are the key reason fraud is rising.
Inspector Darren Somerville, from Gladstone police, says thieves using the paywave option to purchase goods with stolen debit and credit cards are the key reason fraud is rising. Contributed

Brazen crooks using paywave boost fraud rates

THE region's top cop has warned Gladstone residents to watch their wallets as paywave thieves drive a sharp increase in fraud across Gladstone.

New crime data shows Central Queensland had the state's highest increase in fraud-related crimes in 2016-17 with the police district recording a 47% rise in the crime on the previous 12 months.

The region also had a 29% increase in stalking plus a 17% rise in domestic violence order breaches.

Liquor offences dropped 33.2%, robberies were down 5.3% and unlawful entry into shops also fell 9.2%.

Overall, the data shows the CQ crime rate increased 0.7% to 26,104 offences from 2015-16 to 2016-17, but there was a 1.8% fall in all offences over the past decade.

Inspector Darren Somerville from Gladstone police said thieves using the paywave option to purchase goods with stolen debit and credit cards were the key reason fraud was on the rise.

"Whilst losses relating to this type of offending are normally relatively low, it is an increasing trend," Inspector Somerville told NewsRegional.

"Police encourage people to make sure their cards are secured and this really goes back to locking houses and vehicles."

Inspector Somerville said the number of people breaching domestic violence orders was also a cause for concern.

"Domestic violence remains a priority within the Gladstone Patrol Group and police will take action against persons who commit it," he said. 

"Whilst DV incidents appear to be increasing, it does reflect society's attitude that it is not okay and will not be tolerated."

Offences against people and property were also up but the increase was less than 3%.

"Pleasingly, though, there were substantially less motor vehicles broken into during this period compared to the previous financial year," Inspector Somerville said.

"We continue to encourage home and vehicle owners to secure their houses and vehicles as the majority of offences against property are opportunistic and involve unlocked houses and/or vehicles."

- NewsRegional

News Corp Australia

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