In this post, we take a snapshot look at the current issues around identity theft crime. If you are new to our blog, the reason we are so passionate about identity theft, is because in Australia and indeed many other countries in the world, it has the potential to destroy our credit rating.

In Australia, if we are the victims of identity fraud, unpaid debts we have not initiated can mount up in our name and if they remain unpaid more than 60 days they can result in ‘defaults’ being listed on our credit file. Often it is not until we attempt to obtain credit and are knocked back do we realise we have been victims.

Here’s a look at recent news on this issue:

The Future for Worldwide Identity Theft Prevention?

Following the AusCERT Conference late last month held on Queensland’s Gold Coast, there came about a number of recommendations for improving security of our personal information.

Recently we featured comedian Bennett Arron, who spoke at AusCERT about his experience with identity theft and how it can affect our financial future, and indeed our credit file. This was a great example of the issues individuals currently face when they are victims of identity theft.

Another noteworthy recommendation to come out of the AusCERT Conference, was featured in a story in online IT publication The Register, and was put forward by Eugene Kapersky, founder of Kapersky Lab.

Kapersky Lab operates a worldwide IT security company. He advised the conference the world needs an internet ‘Interpol’ – “a global,borderless cybercrime unit that would exist with the support

[and] cooperation of international law enforcement agencies.”

He also advised in the future we could be holders of internet passports as online ID. The security software millionaire said an international online identification system could help in the fight against identity theft and the illicit theft of passport documents online.

Read more about this story ‘Kaspersky wants Interpol for the web’ published in The Register.

Identity crime is certainly a global problem. Scams coming out of many countries personally affect ordinary Australians every day via the internet.

It will be interesting to see what recommendations the Government puts forward after the publication of its first ever White Paper on cyber-security in Australia, and whether it will include a plan to lay down some sort of foundation for international cyber-crime law.

High Profile Company Directors not Immune to IdentityTheft

Last week it was reported that the Australian Institute of Company Directors had a computer stolen from its offices which contained the personal data of many thousands of its high profile directors and clients.

Consequently all were warned to be on the lookout for signs of identity fraud.

Fortunately, according to the AICD, the data on the computer didn’t contain any credit card numbers, bank details or passwords.

They did warn those involved to be on the lookout for suspicious phone calls or other communications as they did believe the theft was an attempt at identity fraud on its members via the stolen database.

Read more about this story ‘AICD’s membership data stolen’ published in IT Wire.

Sometimes, as with the case above, identity thieves don’t necessarily need access to bank account numbers to gain access to our good name. All fraudsters need is perhaps an email address or telephone number and a bit of basic information about us to attempt to then elicit further information from us (known as phishing scams). They can also use the basic information they have to attempt to set up fake accounts, or to request ‘replacement’ copies of ID in our name.

To keep up to date with the latest scams, visit the government’s SCAM watch website.

Police warn of new fraud targeting Australian SuperAccounts

NSW Police have advised of a current scam targeting Super Accounts, where fraudsters are stealing enough information from unsuspecting victims to transfer their Super into self-managed funds which can then be easily accessed by the criminals.

Fraud Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Col Dyson says “Superannuation fraud…works well because no-one checks their super…victims rarely notice account changes, making it easy for criminals to change mailing addresses.”

Unfortunately, unlike bank fraud, there is no obligation for superannuation funds to reimburse victims.

Read more on this story ‘Crooks siphon super funds,’ on CRN Australia’s website.

This is just another example of how difficult it can be for laws, individuals and institutions to keep up with what the Australian Crime Commission calls the fastest growing crime in Australia.

This new fraud may not directly impact our credit file, but when there is no reimbursement for the fraud, it can financially cripple us.

If we are victims of identity theft, we should always report it to the Police no matter how small the fraud. It is only through reporting this crime that real statistics start to be measured.

We should also check our credit file, and have any black marks that should not be there dealt with by a professional credit repairer. Contact MyCRA Credit Repairs for more information. We completely remove defaults from
credit files.

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