The Role of Identity Theft in Identity and Access Management

The Role of Identity Theft in Identity and Access Management

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4828-7.ch007


The Australian Federal Police ( report that identity crime has critically threatened the Australian community as this type of crime has generated significant profits for offenders and caused considerable financial losses to the Australian Government, private industry and individuals. Recent estimates by the Attorney-General's Department indicate that identity crime costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year, with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams. More alarmingly, identity crime continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime, which in turn costs Australia around $15 billion annually. This chapter discusses how personal identities can be stolen and exploited and proposes a Self-learning Context Aware Identity Access and Management Framework (SCAIAM) for combating identity theft.
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The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre's Proof of Identity Steering Committee have defined a set of standard definitions for Identity Crime (Payneham, 2006):

  • Identity fabrication is used to describe the creation of a fictitious identity;

  • Identity manipulation is used to describe the alteration of one's own identity;

  • Identity theft refers the theft or assumption of a pre-existing identity (or significant part thereof), with or without consent and whether, in the case of an individual, the person is living or deceased;

  • Identity crime (or Identity fraud) is a generic term to describe activities/offences in which a perpetrator uses a fabricated identity; a manipulated identity; or a stolen/assumed identity to facilitate the commission of a crime(s). The fraud occurs when a fraudster impersonates another person and opens accounts in that person’s name, running up an account in his / her name, or obtaining goods and services in other person’s name (e.g. hospital).

According to the Attorney-General’s Department 2014-2015 report (2016b), the estimate of the cost of identity crime in Australia is A$2.2billion compared to the estimate of A$2billion from the 2013–14 report. The costs of preventing and responding to identity crime are estimated to be a further A$390million, bringing the total economic impact of identity crime in Australia to approximately $2.6billion in 2015.

Identity crime continues to be one of the most prevalent crimes in Australia and around the globe. Organised crime is increasingly employing information and communication technologies to facilitate their illegal activities.

Table 1 highlights that large portion (2.18%) of identity theft victims do not know how their personal identities were stolen and the majority channels of theft are related to online services (such as email, social media, online platforms such as chat rooms, blogs, and forums).

Table 1.
Channels of identity theft (Source: AIC Survey 2016) (Jorna, 2016)
Different Channels of Identity TheftPercentage
Don’t Know21.8
Hacking of a Computer / Online Device20
Hacking of Email18.4
Online Banking Transaction15.8
Information Placed Online (Non-Social Media)14.3
Unsolicited Telephone Call (exclude SMS)11.7
Social Media9.1
ATM Transaction6.9
EFTPOS Transaction5

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