Media Release: Man charged with identity fraud offences
Release Date: Thursday, September 20 2012, 10:36 AM
A 45-year-old Miami man will appear before Southport Magistrates Court today charged with conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth, following a two year investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with assistance from Queensland Police Service (QPS).
A second 45-year-old man was charged on 6 July 2012 in connection to this matter and appeared before court for a second time yesterday.
The investigation commenced in June 2010, following a referral from QPS in relation to the theft of personal information to create false identities.
The man was arrested by the AFP yesterday (19 September 2012) at Broadbeach.
It will be alleged in court that the 45-year-old Miami man used stolen identities to open bank accounts and register false companies.
It will be further alleged that the two men conspired to obtain GST refunds through the false companies.
Acting Manager Special References Darren Booy said that this operation highlights the need for individuals to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal information.
“The community needs to be aware that identity theft and fraud is widespread and people need to be mindful of the need to protect their personal details.
“Taking simple precautions such as checking financial statements and only providing your personal information to persons where there is a genuine requirement can prevent you from becoming a victim of this crime-type,” Detective Superintendent Booy said.
The 45-year-old Miami man was charged with conspiracy to defraud the commonwealth contrary to section 135.4(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Tips for protecting your identity
- Check your credit report every year.
- Verify the identity of anyone who has contacted you.
- Lock postal mailboxes to deter theft of mail.
- Always store any personal or financial documents in a safe place.
- Do not provide your tax file numbers or other identifying information to people who don't need to know.
- Destroy old documents and cards before disposing of them.
- Keep your credit and debit cards secure and never let them leave your sight.
- Report missing or stolen passports to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
- Report missing or stolen driver’s licences to your state or territory roads and traffic authority.
- Report missing or stolen credit/debit cards to your bank or other financial institution.
- Report missing or stolen mobile phones to your telecommunication provider.
- Ensure that your personal computer has current software and anti-virus software installed.
- Be aware of phishing emails, through which criminals try to elicit your personal information.