Identity theft problems in Australia

Friday, 28 February 2003, 1:05 PM EST

Within five years automatic teller machines will be scanning eyes before handing out the cash.

It is just one of the measures to thwart identity theft, the fastest growing crime in Australia.

Personal details such as bank accounts, birth certificates and credit information are stolen and used by imposters to apply for bank loans or credit cards, or to disguise a criminal record. Identity theft is estimated by the Attorney-General to cost $4 billion a year in Australia.

"It is fast becoming the boom crime of the next decade," said Macquarie Bank's head of banking and property, Bill Moss.

The bank yesterday launched a consumer guide to avoiding identity theft. It advises people to take more care in how they dispose of bank statements, bills and receipts, to put locks on their mailboxes and take mail to a post office instead of using on-street post boxes.

[ Read more ]




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