Australian Federal Police announced late last week they had arrested two men producing fake identity material and committing credit card fraud. We look at the details of this arrest (which was a joint operation by the Identity Security Strike Team), and the recommendations Police make to ensure YOU lessen your chances of falling victim to identity theft and having your ability to obtain credit impacted by defaults.
By Graham Doessel, Founder and CEO of MyCRA Credit Rating Repair and www.fixmybadcredit.com.au.
Police report the operation began in January when intelligence gathered in previous operations identified a 52-year-old Beverly Hills man suspected of manufacturing fake identification and credit cards. Here is an excerpt from their media statement last week:
Following investigative activities over the past eight months, search warrants were executed at a number of locations on Tuesday, including a Riverwood premises where police will allege that the 52-year-old man manufactured false documents, including driver licences, Medicare cards and credit cards. A 47-year-old Burwood man was identified as sourcing the identification information and supplying the completed false identification documents to others.
A substantial amount of cash was also seized during Tuesday’s search warrants. The alleged criminal activity used high-end printing and manufacturing equipment to produce cards that were strong versions of officially-issued items.
NSW Police Force Serious Crime Director Peter Cotter commended investigators for their efforts dismantling the group.
“They had a well-resourced set-up and were capable of quickly reproducing a range of fraudulent identification documents which appeared to be the genuine article, making them particularly difficult to detect in our community,” Detective Chief Superintendent Cotter said.
“This is a great example of how powerful law enforcement is when we work collaboratively to combat crime. The arrests serve as a warning for others who choose to engage in this type of criminal behavior.”
NSW Roads and Maritime Services Director of Customer and Compliance Peter Wells said improved links with other identity issuing agencies was continuing to ensure identity thieves were apprehended.
Identity theft is the curse of the 21st Century and that is becoming more evident in our industry of credit rating repair. There are more and more people needing help with repairing their credit file due to having their identity misrepresented in some way.
Often the first time we are aware of identity theft is when we apply for credit and are flatly refused due to defaults on our credit file that are not ours.
Credit file defaults are difficult for the individual to remove and generally people are told by creditors they remain on our file for 5 years, regardless of how they got there.
Although it seemed so easy for the fraudster to use your good name in the first place, you are now faced with proving the case of identity theft with copious amounts of documentary evidence.
If you have neither the time nor the knowledge of our credit reporting system that you may need to fight your case yourself, you can seek the help of a credit repairer. A credit repairer can help you to clear your credit file and restore the financial freedom you rightly deserve.
The reason a credit repairer is usually so successful in removing your credit file defaults, is their relationships with creditors, and their knowledge of current legislation.
If you have just found out you are a victim, we recommend you also contact the Police. Don’t be embarrassed – it is only through identity theft being reported that data gets collected and appropriate preventative measures eventually get put in place.
Police offer some “red flags” which may show your identity security has been compromised. Top of their list, was your credit report. Checking your credit report regularly is essential to ensure your information is accurate. Your personal details on your credit report should also be checked to ensure they have not been altered by identity thieves. You can check your credit report free once per year. Click here to find out more
POLICE TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY:
•Check your credit report every year. If you find that you have been marked as having unpaid accounts, for example, that you have never heard of, you might have become the victim of an identity theft.
•If you are on the phone, confirm that the persons you are making contact with are who you think they are.
•Lock postal mailboxes to deter theft of mail.
•Always store any personal or financial documents in a safe place.
•Do not provide your tax file numbers or other identifying information to people who don’t have a requirement to know.
•Destroy old documents and cards before disposing of them, otherwise your rubbish could become someone else’s means to stealing your identity.
•Keep your credit and debit cards secure and never let them leave your sight when paying for something, for example the bill at a restaurant.
•Report missing or stolen passports to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
•Report missing or stolen driver licenses to your state/territory roads and traffic authority.
•Report missing or stolen credit/debit cards to your bank or other financial institution.
•Report missing or stolen mobile phones to your telecommunication provider.
•Ensure that your personal computer has up to date software and antivirus software installed.
•Be aware of phishing emails through which criminals will try to elicit your personal information (including credit card numbers).
If you would like to know more about identity theft and your credit file, visit this link http://www.mycra.com.au/identity-theft/.