Identity fraud, in particular, where identities are stolen or fictitious
identities are created, is becoming an increasing problem due to emerging (and
rapidly evolving) technologies which enable such crimes to be committed. Not
only does identity fraud pose a significant financial cost to the community
(with estimates ranging from $2 billion to $3.5 billion a year) but it impacts
significantly on: victims (whose identities have been stolen); financial and
other institutions; and law enforcement agencies because of the difficulty in
tackling such crime, and because identity fraud facilitates the commission of
other types of crime such as people smuggling.
Section 2 of this paper deals with the subject of fraud in general,
including the definition of fraud and identity fraud, the types of fraud,
perpetrators of fraud, and the magnitude of fraud in Australia. This latter
area incorporates the latest figures from the KPMG Fraud Survey 2002.
Section 3 deals with identity fraud. It includes a discussion of factors
that influence identity fraud, how it is perpetrated, and the magnitude of the
problem in Australia as well as examples of identity fraud and theft. (pp 11-17)
Section 4 outlines briefly some of the crime statistics in this area. (p18)
Appendix A contains tables of crimes statistics referred to in section 4.
Section 5 looks at legislative and other responses to the problem of fraud.
It outlines NSW, Federal and other responses. (pp 19-28)
Section 6 outlines some of the law enforcement initiatives in this area by:
the New South Wales Police; the New South Wales Crime Commission; and the
Australian Federal Police.
Finally, Section 7 contains a range of private sector views and responses to
the issue of fraud and identity fraud. (pp 32-39)