Identity crime in Australia

Identity crime provides a foundation for many other forms of serious crime. Fraudulent identities may be used for money laundering, tax evasion, dealing in stolen motor vehicles, or to protect the true identities of organised crime members.

In addition to facilitating the commission of other offences, organised crime groups may also sell stolen identity information to other criminal networks. When a person has their identity stolen, they may experience repeated victimisation. In this way, organised crime groups can use fraudulent identities to cause considerable financial loss.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission rates identity crime as a key enabler of serious and organised crime, which costs Australia around $15 billion annually.

Identity crime and misuse in Australia

On 16 November 2016, the Minister for Justice the Hon Michael Keenan MP, released the report Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia 2016.

The report provides the latest estimates on the prevalence and cost of identity crime, based on data from over 50 different Commonwealth, state and territory entities; and community surveys conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology and Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The report indicates that identity crime continues to be one of the most common crimes in Australia. It also estimates that the annual economic impact of identity crime exceeds $2.2 billion and supports findings from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that identity crime continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime.

Previous reports

The Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia reports are prepared to assist with the development of a national measurement framework for identity crime to better inform efforts to implement the National Identity Security Strategy. Previous reports can be downloaded below:

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