America is burning off a billion dollars every year to id theft, according to the Australian government, and nearly 90 per cent of Americans are said to be concerned about having their identity stolen.

With identity theft reputed to be the quickest growing crime globally, precisely what is being done to protect Americans from your growing menace posed by identity fraudsters?

The National Identity Security Strategy (NISS) was designed by the Australian Government in 2005. This Fake Id Maker aims to tackle identity crime committed by using fake identity documents, like passports and drivers’ licenses. Beefing up the ability of Australian authorities to identify fake identity documents lies in the middle of the strategy. Fake identity documents are employed by fraudsters to steal benefits, such as Centrelink payments, and money through the banks.

$28 million dollars has become pledged for the roll out of the National Document Verification Service, a key plank of the NISS. The service will be an online system for checking the authenticity of identity documents, and will also be accessible by government departments. It could also be presented for the private sector, which may help banks along with other companies verify the identities of consumers. The service will enable government officials to make certain documents presented were actually issued and also the details contained within these are accurate.

Biometrics, a way of using the physical features of men and women to verify their identity, is increasingly being deployed by governments and private companies to combat identity fraud.

Australia’s immigration service, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, is collecting biometric data on new migrants. It is expected the assortment of biometric information on ‘non citizens’ – such as photos, fingerprints, and, iris scans – will help national and international efforts to tackle identity fraud. The physical specifics of new entrants are now being stored on the DIAC database, known as the Identity Services Repository.

Plans for a welfare services identity card system costing more than $1billion dollars were scrapped at the end of 2007 following the election of the Rudd Government. The Howard Government planned to give every Australian a biometric smartcard, including photo and individual health and welfare number. It was considered by many to become an identity card scheme in disguise. Reports suggested the smartcard scheme could have been ‘piggybacked’ by private companies, such as banks and finance institutions, as a method of tackling identity fraud.

The use of voice authentication technology to tackle call centre identity fraud will be researched by boffins in the University Of Canberra. The university’s biometrics scientists work on systems which may enable companies to confirm people utilizing their voice patterns. This may avoid the necessity to send sensitive personal information abroad, reducing the chance of Aussies falling prey to identity fraudsters targeting call centres.

Tough new money laundering laws, which came into force at the conclusion of 2007, will discover tighter identity checks on Australians when opening new bank accounts, using casinos or purchasing travellers cheques. It really is expected the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance Act will help to combat identity fraud in Australia. Financial organisations must meet the strict identity check requirements from the legislation in the end of 2008. This act brings Australia into line along with other countries, including the UK wzczxl US, which have strengthened their funds laundering rules.

The publication of court judgments on the internet has led the NSW Supreme Court to change the way it writes judgments. Personal identifiers, such as birthdates and addresses, which can be utilized to commit identity fraud will no longer be published in judgments.

Among the advice within the government’s identity fraud self help guide “ID theft kit” is the need for people to regularly check their credit report to aid spot any fraudulent activity committed against them. A totally free credit score can be accessed each year by writing for the credit reference agencies.

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