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  • Identity crime

    Identity crime involves using stolen or assumed identities – including someone else's tax file number – to commit fraud and other crimes.

    Identity crime is a key enabler for organised crime groups in Australia. It can pose a serious risk to national security, law enforcement and the community.

    The social and financial harm caused by identity crime has a real impact on the community. It also presents significant tax implications.

    Advances in technology mean we are constantly exposed to the risk of identity crime. Regardless of age, gender or income, we are all potential targets.

    Organised criminal groups exploit technology and harvest information to commit identity crime. An increase in globalisation has also facilitated cross-border identity crime.

    Tackling identity crime

    We use intelligent systems to automatically detect tax returns suspected of being fraudulently lodged using another person's identity. These systems help us stop incorrect, invalid or fraudulent refunds before they are paid.

    We are a partner agency in a whole-of-government approach to reducing identity crime. The National Identity Security Strategy, supported by the Attorney-General's Department, works to combat the misuse of stolen or assumed identities.

    Our Client Identity Support Centre supports taxpayers who had their identities stolen, misused or compromised. We provide information, advice and assistance to help taxpayers re-establish their identities.

    The best way to minimise the financial and emotional impact of identity crime is to reduce the number of potential victims. Be alert and keep your personal details secure – you can play a part in stopping identity crime.

    See also:

    Last modified: 08 May 2017QC 41329