ID theft – should I be worried?
If you have had a recent property transaction, you would have noticed the process has changed quite significantly over the years. The increased rise in ID theft and identity fraud in Australia has seen strict guidelines put around how we verify the identity of our clients. After your property transaction is complete, we find ourselves holding a file containing your ID documents, bank account details, current contact details and more making our small office an identity thief’s playground!
According to David Lacey, the cyber-security and managing director of ID Care, the key documents these criminals are looking for is a driver’s licence or a passport. These are the first two pieces of ID we ask of you to satisfy the Lands Titles Office Verification of Identity requirements.
Once these sneaks have what they need, they can open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, passports and mobile phone contracts in your name within hours! They know exactly what they are doing and can use a mix of different people’s details to create multiple identities to make the fraud even harder to track.
Unfortunately, when you finally realise your ID has been stolen, the onus is on you to prove your innocence. The damage created in just hours can see you trying to prove yourself a victim of crime for years and your credit rating is impacted until the crime has been proved and recognised which can take a very long time.
Tuckfield Conveyancing, we are extremely stringent in the storage of your documents long after your settlement has been completed.
We are required by law to keep your file for a minimum of 7 years. We settle a large volume of properties each year. That is a lot of sensitive client data (and a lot of fake people that can be created!) that is in our possession. It is because of this reason that we make sure we are doing our utmost to keep your identity documents safe and secure.
Article written by Tammy Edwards
Please note that the information contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute legal advice. Tuckfields does not take responsibility for any errors or omissions obtained from the use of this information.