Service station drive-offs and the new "paywave" credit card technology are contributing to a surge in the number of fraud cases being investigated by police in Wollongong.
The latest numbers released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show overall, rates of many categories of crime were relatively stable in the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas in the two years to June.
But Wollongong showed an increase of 20.4 per cent in the number of fraud cases, while in Shellharbour, fraud leapt 23.4 per cent.
Wollongong Local Area Command crime co-ordinator Lisa Westwood said fraud cases included the use of stolen credit cards. And with the new "paywave" technology, where no PIN or signature is required for purchases under $100, thieves could get away with several purchases in a short time.
"If they get hold of that, before the victim even knows it's gone, they could have [cleared] six or seven transactions," she said.
"It's early days with paywave ... we'll see if it has any significant impact. But certainly fraud's on the increase.
"If you have paywave, make sure you know where your credit cards are."
Senior Sergeant Westwood said many of the fraud cases concerned "fail-to-pays" at service stations, often with stolen plates on cars, which were then used in other offences.
"We found we still have a significant number of fail-to-pays," she said.
"We've been promoting the use of anti-theft screws - you put them on number plates and they can't be removed without a special tool."
In Wollongong, indecent assaults (including acts of indecency and other sexual offences but not sexual assault) rose 23.8 per cent but this statistic did not distinguish between crimes that occurred in the past two years and older cases that had been reported more recently.
More detailed information on what constituted the indecent assaults was not available yesterday.
While violent offences were stable in Wollongong over the past two years, the five-year trend was a fall of 2.8 per cent.
But Shellharbour experienced an increase in assaults (not including domestic violence) of 24 per cent over the past two years.
Wollongong's seven murders investigated over the past two years were among the highest of any local government area in the state - but well behind the state's murder capital, Blacktown, which had 16.
There were more murders in Bankstown (8) and the City of Sydney (9) than in Wollongong.