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June 5, 2020

In this Modern Age, we are faced with rapid developments, especially in the aspect of Information Technologies. The Internet is paramount of all these developments. It has helped communicating from around the world easier and more efficient.

Cyberlaw is something new in the aspect of the legal system. It encompasses the complex way businesses and individuals use the World Wide Web. Now that almost every person, as well as most businesses and organisations, use and rely on the Internet, regulating online conduct has become increasingly important.

Thus, cyberlaw was created in order to protect Internet users from ruthless criminals who take advantage of the fact that they can easily remain anonymous in the cyber world.

Cybercrime Investigations

A private forensic investigator can help with cybercrime investigation regardless of whether it’s civil or criminal in nature. They are able to provide you with any kind of assistance to achieve your desired outcome on cybercrime-related issues. Forensic investigators assist all kinds of clients, from law firms to corporations, individuals and small businesses.

Computer forensics cover two main areas and the first one has something to do with analysing the computer’s physical hardware, such as computer hard drives or mobile phones. This also involves recovering and preserving relevant data. On the other hand, the second aspect is focused on Internet activities that involves analysing online accounts and webpages. A technician might also be required to analyse a physical computer or device. Sometimes, they may need to investigate a website, online account, or both.

When dealing with cybercrime, police officers usually can’t provide appropriate assistance to their victims. That’s because they are often overwhelmed with reports concerning criminal activities online. Also, they generally don’t have enough resources to handle these cases, especially the most serious ones. However, police officers will most likely treat the issue seriously with the help of a forensic investigator.

The forensic investigators will be tasked to provide solid digital evidence of the case, which makes the process of handling the case easier. They can be relied on especially in handling civil matters. For instance, most of those who commit defamation carry it out anonymously over the Internet. Forensic investigators may be able to uncover the location and identity the culprit in order to serve legal notices. Even on issues that were initially treated as a criminal, the investigator may be able to potentially assist the individual in taking a civil action if law enforcement won’t be able to help.

For example, at Investigators Australia, we handled this particular case involving a dispute in the contract. When one of the parties of the contract had been hacked, the perpetrators replaced the bank details and interrupted the payment between the two parties. So the task was to identify which party in the contract had been hacked and who will be held liable for the money that was lost.

The case was resolved after we gathered evidence that proved that our client was not hacked. Even though this matter involved criminal action on the part of the hacker, it’s a perfect example of how we can help in civil actions if the police aren’t able to do anything on their end.

Common Cybercrime Cases

As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, cyberbullies have also become very sophisticated in carrying out their malicious activities. In fact, cyber investigators were truly impressed at how clever and sophisticated the tools that cybercriminals are using these days are. But investigators are prepared for this. They are equipped with more sophisticated tools so they always have an edge when it comes to running after the culprits and catching them.

One of the most common forms of cybercrime is hacking. Thousands of individuals and businesses from around the world have fallen victim to this malicious practice. In fact, studies show that in 2018, about a third of adults in Australia, has dealt with some form of hacking.

This type of cybercrime is quite broad. It could refer to attacks pertaining to the different kinds of malware such as spyware, viruses, and ransomware to hijack the computer system and network in order to get access to confidential data. Cybercriminals use ransomware to prevent users from accessing a specific system or device and will demand ransom, usually in the form of Bitcoins.

Another common case concerning cybercrime is when employees misuse the company’s confidential information, patented materials, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Recently, we handled a case where our client owns a healthcare centre and one of the employees was able to get access to the personal information of the clients, which caused a problem to the company.

Our job was to gather evidence to prove that the employee was behind the data breach and we were able to deliver what was expected. In situations like these, we would suggest that employers establish a policy for workplace surveillance during employment so that these risks are effectively managed.

How Can Private Investigators Help?

In situations that involve defamation, online harassment, or hacking, we make sure that all evidence concerning the activity is documented.

It’s difficult to investigate criminal activity and bullying online, so any evidence that can help the investigators with their job can increase the possibility of achieving a favourable outcome. Forensic experts can help to reveal the identity of the culprit who has been anonymously committing the cybercrime.

Contract disputes can also be resolved with the help of an investigator. Furthermore, a digital forensic technician, for instance, can help prove whether or not a particular email was sent or if there’s a hacking activity going on. Sometimes, it’s necessary to access a device such as a computer or a smartphone when it comes to handling cybercrime.

Investigation firms like Investigators Australia can offer consultation and advice to businesses and individuals when it comes to improving cybersecurity and minimising the risk of getting compromised.

May 9, 2020

Unclaimed money refers to money that has been lost from bank accounts, shares of stocks, investments, life insurance policies, etc. Usually, the money gets lost when people move to a new house and have totally forgotten updating their information with the bank or financial institution.

Any unclaimed money that the ASIC has received will usually be given to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund. Whoever is the rightful owner should be able to claim the funds any time and there’s no time limit in claiming these funds.

Funds from bank accounts that have become inactive for 7 years due to no deposit and withdrawals are also considered unclaimed money. Furthermore, insurance policies that have matured and were not claimed for 7 years already are also considered unclaimed money.

State governments are known to keep unclaimed money from different sources, like salaries, share dividends, and trust funds. Refer to this link for a list of state-specific agencies and contacts that can help you search for your unclaimed money – https://moneysmart.gov.au/find-unclaimed-money/money-held-by-state-governments

Here’s everything you need to know about unclaimed money.

How to Find Out If You Have Any Unclaimed Money Out There?

It’s common for funds from shares, investments, insurance policies and bank accounts to get lost especially if the person has totally forgotten about it or if they’ve moved to a new place and did not update the account.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, more commonly known as ASIC, can assist individuals in conducting searches for unclaimed money using its database, with the use of a transaction number or name.

If the money that was lost has been found, the owner has to lodge a claim in order to get it. It’s easy to check if you’ve got any funds that have not been claimed. Simply go online and refer to this link – https://moneysmart.gov.au/find-unclaimed-money.

If your ASIC search doesn’t reveal anything, there are other ways to look for unclaimed money. You can refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Australian Taxation Office, or the state government’s website.

How to Look for Lost or Unclaimed Superannuation

To look for lost or unclaimed super, you can refer to ATO and AUSfund. They both have superannuation tools that can help with your search.

All you need to input is your Tax File Number (TFN). And if you decide to move your unclaimed super to any of your preferred funds, you also need to key-in your fund membership number.

What is Lost and Unclaimed Super?

If you decide to switch jobs or perhaps you have a second job that pays for your superannuation, it is highly possible that you’ve got some unclaimed or lost super out there that you don’t have any knowledge of. As a matter of fact, the Australian Tax Office or ATO is holding billions of dollars of unclaimed or lost super.

Usually, super is stored in the fund where it is paid and could get idle eventually, especially if they are unable to locate or contact you. In this case, the funds will be referred to as lost super. Before, super funds that were holding small and inactive accounts were being transferred to the AUSfund where it will be kept until someone shows up to claim it.

Inactive and small accounts with a value below $6,000 and have not been receiving any contribution for 16 months will be moved to the ATO. They will then attempt to compare the funds to the active account of the member.

This is the account that’s been receiving the contributions. If in the event that they cannot find an active account, the funds will remain in ATO until someone shows up to claim it. This is called the unclaimed super. This will still be your super and you can still claim it or have it transferred to the super fund that you prefer.

States with the Highest Amount of Lost and Unclaimed Super

The ATO released a report outlining the total value of unclaimed and lost super through postcode, including a breakdown per territory and state.

Here are the figures from such report:

  • WA has $2.2 billion
  • VIC has $4.7 billion
  • TAS has $404 million
  • SA has $1.4 billion
  • QLD has $2.8 billion
  • NT has $258 million
  • NSW has $6 billion
  • ACT has $438 million

7 of the postcodes on top of the list of lost or unclaimed super came from NSW and the other 3 are from Victoria.

Liverpool holds the top spot, having 13,251 lost or unclaimed super with a total value of $81,085,282.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What results come up?

The data that will appear on your search for unclaimed money is a result of lodgements that came from several banks, credit unions, building societies, life insurance companies, registered Australian companies, and friendly societies.

However, ASIC will not guarantee the overall consistency or quality of the data inputted due to the fact that the given data is provided by several institutions.

  • What is Original Transaction Number (OTN)?

The unclaimed money on the database will be provided with a unique OTN or Original Transaction Number. If you found a relevant record when you search using your name, take note of the OTN since you’ll need this when making a claim.

You will also need this number whenever you decide to relocate the record later on. It will also help ASIC whenever you need to consult your claim.

  • Will I have to use my name or the name of the deceased person when searching for a life insurance policy?

Records that relate to the life insurance policy will slightly differ from that of the companies and banks since the policy owner might be different from that of the life insured. If you’re going to do a search using the name, both names will be searched.

For instance, if you’re going to locate a policy under “Robert Smith”, any life policy that has this name, whether he is the owner or the insured will show up in the database.