Identity crime is a key enabler for serious and organised crime groups, and facilitates offences in nearly all crime markets. Identity crime undermines the integrity of the economy, financial and banking institutions, licensing, immigration and welfare systems.
Identity crime includes:
- the theft of personal identity information and related financial information
- assuming another identity for fraudulent purposes
- producing false identities and financial documents to enable other crimes.
False identities are often created from stolen personal details. Criminals use false identities for a variety of reasons, including to:
- perpetrate frauds
- establish business structures and companies to facilitate other crimes such as money laundering or importing illicit commodities
- undertake national or international travel without being identified or traced by law enforcement agencies.
Identity crime is also a key enabler of other organised crime, including:
- large-scale organised theft
- dealing in stolen vehicles
- illegal immigration
- money laundering
- illicit drug trafficking.
Organised criminals capitalise on every opportunity to exploit technology to commit identity crime. They use professionals or facilitators to help them commit their crimes, including information technology experts, individuals who specialise in identity theft or those who can steal credit card numbers and give them to someone who makes fake cards.