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IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

To launder money, trade stolen goods and vehicles, apply for loans, receive Centrelink benefits and much more through a false identity.

Identity theft – the illegal act of obtaining another’s identification information for personal gain – to launder money, trade stolen goods and vehicles, apply for loans, receive Centrelink benefits and much more through a false identity.

In the age of ever-increasing technological advancements, identity fraud has only gotten worse.


In August 2020, the Queensland Government released an official report with the message: ‘be careful with your personal details’ in relation to identity theft. (qld.gov.au) It highlights the importance of protecting your digital details by offering helpful tips, such as selecting secure passwords, being cautious with online purchases and deleting suspicious texts and emails.


What is identity theft or fraud?


The terms ‘Identity theft’ and ‘identity fraud’ are used interchangeably in Australia; with both relating to the same context – stealing someone’s personal information to obtain a false identity.


In Queensland law, this is solidified in the Criminal Code 1899, under Section 408D, referred to as “Obtaining or dealing with identification information”. See below:

(1) A person who obtains or deals with another entity’s identification information for the purpose of committing, or facilitating the commission of, an indictable offence commits a misdemeanour.


Maximum Penalty


If found guilty of “Obtaining or dealing with identification information” the convicted persons could face up to five years of imprisonment.


What is ‘Identification Information’?


In accordance with the above law, there must be an obtainment of or dealings with ‘identification information’ to commit the misdemeanour. What is this identification information?


As defined by the Criminal Code 1899, identification information of another person is “information about, or identifying particulars of, the entity that is capable of being used, whether alone or in conjunction with other information, to identify or purportedly identify the entity.”


In specific terms, some examples of identification information that could be illegally obtained, possessed, or dealt in could be:

  • An individual’s details (such as a name, address, marital status, and date of birth);

  • A driver licence or driver licence number;

  • A passport or passport number;

  • Passwords to financial accounts;

  • Someone’s biometric data;

  • Voice prints;

  • Information stored on debit or credit card(s); and more.

Advice and Representation in Criminal Matters


If you require immediate and long-term advice, support, and representation regarding a criminal conviction; please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Crime and Misconduct team at Creevey Horrell Lawyers. With our expertise, you will be guided through the courts' process with our full support, getting you the best outcome possible.


“Amazing! All three of our lawyers represented us with class and dignity. They gave us the best advice and went above and beyond to help resolve our issues. Nothing was too difficult and no question we had was too stupid. We are so grateful for everything a Creevey Russell (Horrell) have done for us over the last 9 months.”


Need urgent assistance? Call our 24/7 crime hotline on 1800-CRIME-LAW

Reach out to us on 07 3009 6555 or email us at creeveyhorrell@crlawyers.com.au


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