Australian Institute of Criminology

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Identity crime and fraud

Media Release

21 September 1999

Media release from Senator, the Hon Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Justice and Customs

Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone today released the Australian Institute of Criminology's latest report on fraud, Identity-related Economic Crime: Risks and Countermeasures.

"Misrepresenting one's identity with false documents is one of the most frequently used strategies to perpetrate fraud," Senator Vanstone said.

"Fraudulent identities are used for money laundering and tax evasion, to obtain personal loans from banks, enter into hire purchase agreements, and deal in stolen motor vehicles."

"The paper highlights how criminals are able to use technology to commit fraud, and the counter measures that can be used not only by law enforcement but also government and the private sector to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters."

"KPMG's 1999 recent business victimisation survey has indicated that fictitious identities are being used to perpetrate a variety of offences. Identifying fraud is perceived as being an important security risk within organisations."

"Of the incidents committed by managers, 9.6 per cent involved the use of false documentation. Of the incidents committed by persons outside organisations, 11.9 per cent involved the use of false documentation."

"There are four primary methods that may be used to authenticate a person's identity."

  • Something you have such as a key or a plastic card;
  • something that you know such as a password or date of birth;
  • something related to who you are such as your appearance, signature or fingerprint (biometrics); and
  • something indicating where you are located such as your address and a corresponding telephone number.

The paper demonstrates that there is no magic cure for fraud. The secret is to keep one step ahead of fraudsters.