Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia. There is no one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam.

My office has received reports of scammers impersonating government officials who advise that you have overpaid GST and are eligible for a refund.

Anyone who receives this type of call should ignore the demands to provide personal details and hang up. Scammers may try to pressure you by repeatedly calling and harassing you. Scammers will go to great lengths to steal your personal details to commit fraudulent activities such as making unauthorised purchases on your credit card, or using your identity to open accounts such as banking, telephone or energy services, take out loans or carry out other illegal business under your name. They may even sell your information to other scammers for further illegal use.

You may not know you have had your identity stolen until you check your bank account, or find out that your credit rating has changed.

Having your identity stolen can be both financially and emotionally devastating. It can take months to reclaim your identity and the impact of having it stolen can last for years.

Don’t be fooled because someone has your personal information such as address or birth date because these details can be collected online through websites and social networking forums.

Never send money or give your account details to a stranger. Alarm bells should go off if you are asked for international wire transfers as these transactions are almost impossible to trace. Scammers may not only steal what’s in your account but use what you have provided to steal your identity.

To report a scam, contact the ACCC on 1300 795 995.


The Australian Energy Regulator determines what those who own and operate the State’s power poles and wires should charge to receive a fair return on their investment.  As a result of its latest determination small businesses are set to save between $152 and $528 every year and households should save between $106 and $313 per year.

But Premier Mike Baird wants to sell the State’s polls and wires.  So he has mounted a challenge to the AER’s decision.  You see, the more the network owners are allowed to change you, the more the asset they want to sell is worth!


Want to feel smarter, happier and more decisive? The solution is simpler than you think. This year's Sleep Awareness Week promotes getting between seven and nine hours shut eye a night as a means to feel more alert, energized, decisive, happy and less prone to catching winter bugs.

Almost 10,000 serious workplace injuries and more than 25,000 serious road crash injuries are caused by poor alertness each year. The cost to the Australian economy is substantial—over $5 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare costs, and over $31 billion a year in the loss of healthy life.

Are you getting enough sleep ? Visit for further information.

I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.
Why not go the extra step by following me on my Facebook page “Joel Fitzgibbon” or on Twitter and type in the search bar “fitzhunter”. Or by regularly checking my website at or you can even sign up to my E-Newsletter.

To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.

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