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.
“The Australian community needs to realise just how serious identity crime is and to understand the devastating effects it can have on an individual’s life,” O’Connor said in a statement.
National Identity Fraud Awareness Week, which begins today and ends on 23 October, is held every October to raise awareness about identity crime and the protective measures available to people.
A study in July found that almost one in six Australians had been a victim or knew somebody who had been a victim of identity theft. It also revealed that nine in 10 of 1200 people were concerned or very concerned about identity theft and misuse.
A parliamentary joint committee reviewing the AFP’s 2009-2010 Annual Report in June heard that identity theft begins in the home, with consumer printing and design software available so sophisticated that criminals are using the technology to start up their own document forging businesses.
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