America is losing a billion dollars each year to identity fraud, according to the Australian government, and nearly 90 per cent of Americans are reported to be concerned with having their identity stolen.

With id theft reputed to become the easiest growing crime globally, precisely what is being carried out to protect Americans from the growing menace posed by identity fraudsters?

The National Identity Security Strategy (NISS) was designed by the Australian Government in 2005. This Fake Id Vendors aims to tackle identity crime committed by using fake identity documents, like passports and drivers’ licenses. Beefing in the ability of Australian authorities to recognize fake identity documents lies in the middle from the strategy. Fake identity documents are used by fraudsters to steal benefits, such as Centrelink payments, and cash from your banks.

$28 million dollars has become pledged to the roll out from the National Document Verification Service, a key plank in the NISS. The service is going to be an online system for checking the authenticity of identity documents, and will also be accessible by government departments. It could also be presented towards the private sector, which would help banks as well as other companies verify the identities of clients. The service will enable government officials to make certain documents presented were actually issued and the details contained within these are accurate.

Biometrics, a way of using the physical features of men and women to verify their identity, is increasingly being deployed by governments and private companies to combat id theft.

Australia’s immigration service, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, is collecting biometric data on new migrants. It is expected the variety of biometric details on ‘non citizens’ – including photos, fingerprints, and, iris scans – may help national and international efforts to tackle identity fraud. The physical specifics of new entrants are stored on the DIAC database, referred to as Identity Services Repository.

Plans to get a welfare services identity card system costing a lot more than $1billion dollars were scrapped at the conclusion of 2007 after the election from the Rudd Government. The Howard Government planned to give every Australian a biometric smartcard, including photo and individual health insurance and welfare number. This is considered by many to be an identity card scheme in disguise. Reports suggested the smartcard scheme might have been ‘piggybacked’ by private companies, including banks and financial institutions, as a means of tackling identity fraud.

Using voice authentication technology to tackle call centre identity fraud will be researched by boffins in the University Of Canberra. The university’s biometrics scientists are working on systems which may enable companies to ensure people making use of their voice patterns. This may avoid the necessity to send sensitive private information abroad, reducing the risk of Aussies falling prey to identity fraudsters targeting call centres.

Tough new money laundering laws, which came into force at the end of 2007, will spot tighter identity checks on Australians when opening new bank accounts, using casinos or purchasing travellers cheques. It is expected the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Finance Act will help to combat identity fraud within australia. Financial organisations need to fulfill the strict identity check requirements of the legislation by the end of 2008. This act brings Australia into line with some other countries, like the UK wzczxl US, which have strengthened their cash laundering rules.

The publication of court judgments on the internet has led the NSW Supreme Court to change the actual way it writes judgments. Personal identifiers, such as birthdates and addresses, which can be utilized to commit identity fraud will no longer be published in judgments.

Amongst the advice inside the government’s id theft self-help guide “ID theft kit” is the necessity for consumers to regularly check their credit score to assist spot any fraudulent activity committed against them. A free credit score can be accessed every year by writing for the credit reference agencies.

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