Bill shock leads to fraud charges against Mudgee woman

A woman has been sentenced for using a stolen credit card to buy a mobile phone, after following the billing details she gave in order to create an account and obtain the device. 

Lisa Jane Higgins, aged 41, of Church Street, Mudgee, was placed on a nine-month good behaviour bond for charges of dishonestly obtain property and financial advantage by deception.

In the early hours of January 19, 2017, the victim’s home was broken into and a number of items stolen, including credit cards.

On June 1 they then received a letter from a debt collector acting on behalf of Optus for $1967.67.

The victim reported the matter to police.

It was found that Higgins used one of the credit cards to purchase a mobile phone and set up an account to have it sent to her home address.

She also had billing set up to her email address, which was based on her full name.

The account was cancelled on May 28 due to money owing.

Magistrate Paul Mulroney told the defendant, “if people rip off Optus they don’t lose – they pass it on to their customers. So anyone in this court today who is an Optus customer is going to pay for it”.

He also advised Higgins against being talked into committing offences by “mates”, the reason claimed for using the stolen credit card.