Identity theft one of the most common crimes

New survey says one million people have been affected.
 
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01.Protecting your online identity

Online identity theft is one of the most common crimes

One in 10 adults have had their personal information misused in the previous 12 months according to a new survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology, making identity crime one of the most common crimes in Australia. 

The survey of almost 5000 consumers suggests that about one million Australians have been impersonated by fraudsters who got hold of their details, often via the internet.  

The impacts on those who have experienced identity theft were also recorded in the survey: 

  • 14.1% had experienced refusal of credit. 
  • 10.7% had experienced mental or emotional stress requiring counselling or other treatment.
  • 5.5% had been wrongly accused of a crime related to the theft of their identity

Most of the survey respondents who lost money as a result of identity crime lost less than $1000, but in some cases losses ran to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“People should ensure they have strong passwords on computers, effective privacy settings around social media, and take care when shopping online and disposing of hard copy mail containing personal information,” Attorney-General George Brandis said in a statement following the release of the findings. 

The research also found that about one in 10 victims didn’t report the identity crime incident.

 
 

 

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