Identity offences involve fraudulent use or possession of someone else’s personal information. Here are some of the common identity offences:
1. Identity Fraud: Identity fraud occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information without permission. This can include using someone’s name, address, social security number, or financial information for fraudulent purposes.
2. Identity Theft: Identity theft is another form of identity crime. Additionally, it involves the unauthorised acquisition and use of someone’s personal information for fraudulent purposes. This can include stealing someone’s credit card information, bank account details, or other sensitive data.
3. Possession of Identification Information: It is also an offence to possess identification information with the intention of committing an indictable offence. This offence covers situations where a person has possession of someone else’s identification information, such as driver’s licences, passports, or other personal documents, with the intent to use them for illegal activities.
Identity offences are serious criminal offences and it’s important to also learn about its laws and regulations. Read on to learn more about these laws and regulations.
Section 192I: Identity Offences (Definitions)
Section 192I outlines relevant definitions of offences for identity. These are:
1. “Deal” in identification information means making, supplying, or using any information that can be used to identify or purportedly identify a person.
2. “Identification information” is information that can identify a person, whether living or dead, real or fictitious, individual or body corporate. This includes information such as:
- Name or address
- Date or place of birth, marital status, relative’s identity, or similar information
- Driver’s licence or driver’s licence number
- Passport or passport number
- Biometric data
- Voice print
- Credit or debit card, its number or data stored or encrypted on it
- Financial account number, user name or password
- Digital signature
- A series of numbers or letters (or both) intended for use as a means of personal identification
- An ABN (Australian Business Number)
Section 192J: Dealing With Identification Information
Section 192J outlines dealing with identification information with the intention of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence. Dealing with identification information includes making, supplying, or using any information that can identify or purportedly identify a person.
Indictable offence is a serious crime, such as fraud, identity theft, or terrorism. Moreover, this section protects people’s personal information from being used for illegal purposes. It is important to note that the intention to commit an indictable offence is an essential element of this offence.
Additionally, this means that it is not enough to simply deal in identification information, you must also have the intention to use it for an illegal purpose. The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
Section 192K: Possession of Identification Information
Section 192K of identity offences states that it is an offence to possess identification information. The offence is typically done with the intention of committing or facilitating the commission of an indictable offence.
Possession of identification information means having physical control of information that can identify or purportedly identify a person. An indictable offence is a serious crime, such as fraud, identity theft, or terrorism. The maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years imprisonment.
Here are some examples of what would constitute an offence under section 192K:
- Keeping a stolen driver’s licence with the intention of using it to commit fraud
- Finding someone’s passport and keeping it with the intention of using it to travel to a country where they do not have permission to go
- Downloading someone’s credit card number with the intention of using it to make online purchases
Section 192L: Possession of Equipment Etc to Make Identification Documents or Things
The Section 192L of identity offences states that:
- It is an offence to possess equipment, material, or other things that parties can use to make identification documents or things.
- The offence applies if you intend to use the document or thing to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, an indictable offence.
- An indictable offence is a serious crime, such as fraud, identity theft, or terrorism.
- The maximum penalty for an offence under this section is 3 years imprisonment.
Section 192M: Miscellaneous Provisions of Identity Offences
Section 192M clarifies some of the terms and conditions of the previous sections in Part 4AB of the Act. There are four provisions in Section 192M:
- Provision (1) Part 4AB does not apply to dealing with a person’s own identification information.
- Provision (2) it is not an offence to attempt to commit an offence against 4AB.
- Provision (3) Part 4AB applies to a person who intends to commit an indictable offence, even if the offence is impossible to commit or is not to be committed until a later time.
- Provision (4) Section 309A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 enables a victim of an offence against Part 4AB to obtain a certificate from a court that such an offence has been committed.
Section 193: Renumbered as Section 192A
The Section 193 of identity offences provisions is renumbered into Section 192A of the Crimes Act. Section 192A outlines the verdict where several persons are indicted for jointly receiving property. The jury may convict a person if:
- Two or more people are indicted for jointly receiving property; and
- It appears that one or more of the people received the property separately
What if Your Identity Information Has Been Stolen?
If you suspect that your identity has been stolen in NSW, Australia, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and report the crime:
1. Contact ID Support NSW: You can contact ID Support NSW, a free service provided by the NSW government. They can provide assistance and advice on how to deal with identity theft
2. Report it to the police: You should report the identity theft to the police by calling 131 444. The police can provide you with further advice and assistance on how to deal with the situation
3. Report the loss or theft of identity credentials to the issuing organisation: If someone steals your identity documents, such as your driver’s licence or passport, you should report the loss or theft to the issuing organisation. This includes the Roads and Maritime Services or the Department of Home Affairs
4. Alert your bank or financial institution: If your financial information has been stolen, you should contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Report the theft and take steps to protect your accounts.
What if I Found the Person Who Stole My Identity Information?
As mentioned in this article, it is a grave offence to steal someone’s identity information. If you find out who stole your identity information, it’s important to seek legal advice from JB Solicitors. Moreover, our criminal lawyers can help you recover your identity information and bring the offender to justice.
Contact us today if you have identity offences that you want to discuss.