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Identity-related Economic Crime: Risks and Countermeasures

NCJ Number
Russell G. Smith
Date Published
6 pages
Criminals can fabricate documents that may be used to misrepresent their identity, so as to make it difficult to locate them after they commit a crime; this paper examines the nature of such deception in Australia and the innovative ways in which it is being countered through the use of modern technologies.
One of the most frequently used strategies to perpetrate fraud is the creation of false documents to misrepresent one's identity. Once a convincing identity has been fraudulently established, it is possible to steal money or otherwise to act illegally and then to evade detection, investigation, and arrest. Australian police services have recently found an increase in such misrepresentations that have been used for money laundering and tax evasion, to obtain personal loans from banks, enter into hire-purchase agreements, and deal in stolen motor vehicles. There are four primary methods to authenticate a person's identity. Generally, these are based on something a person has, such as a key or a plastic card (tokens); something a person knows, such as a password or date of birth; something to do with who the person is, such as appearance, signature, or fingerprint; or something that indicates a person's location, such as your address and a corresponding telephone number. Effective fraud prevention strategies have been devised to target each of these four identification methods. This paper describes token security, knowledge-based security systems, biometric security, location-based security systems, and the maintenance of identity databases. 22 references