Australian police survey combats identity theft
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 17/10/2011 15:29
The minister for home affairs and justice, Brendan O'Connor, has launched an online survey that lets people test how vulnerable they are identity crime and provides measures to help protect them from identity fraudsters and scammers. The launch coincides with National Identity Fraud Awareness Week.
The survey is on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) website and features 15 questions. It covers safety tips such as shredding banking and financial statements before disposal, covering PIN pads when using ATMs, and hanging up and reporting callers claiming to be from the bank asking for personal details and passwords.
Media Release: AFP urges public to protect themselves against identity fraud [news release]
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has today released an identity fraud awareness survey aimed at empowering members of the Australian public to protect themselves from the serious consequences of identity crime.
The survey went live on the AFP website today to coincide with National Identity Fraud Awareness Week (17-23 October) and was developed to help educate the general public on the importance of being identity crime aware.
Manager Special References Chris McDevitt said identity crime costs the Australian community hundreds of millions of dollars each year and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics at least five percent of the Australian population has been victim of personal fraud, of which one fifth was identity fraud.
"Identity fraud is an emerging threat to Australia and is growing rapidly. Be aware that identity fraudsters are specialists at manipulating their victims, including their trust, friendliness, loneliness, fears, concerns or financial situation", Commander McDevitt said.
The AFP hosts multi-agency Identity Security Strike Teams (ISST's) in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The teams work closely with state law enforcement partners, financial institutions and government agencies to address the issue of identity theft for financial gain.
The AFP's High Tech Crime Operations unit deals specifically with organised online gangs who use malicious software to compromise computers and computer systems.
In addition to the survey, which will allow members of the public to test how vulnerable they are to identity crime and take remedial steps to protect themselves, the AFP will broadcast a 30 second community service announcement on national TV for the month of October. It will also be available on the AFP's website to download and view from today.
To take the survey visit www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/campaigns/national-identity-fraud-awareness-week.aspx
For more information about identity fraud scams, and how you can protect yourself from identity fraud, visit the SCAMwatch website or call 1300 795 995.
To find out more about how to protect against identity theft, visit the Attorney-General's Department website.