Victims stranded as ID thieves raid Aussie driver licences

States won't issue new licence numbers, leaving victims vulnerable for years

AusCERT One in five Australian identity theft victims reporting to a government-backed crime monitor ID-Care have had drivers licences stolen, according to Dr David Lacey of national ID theft support service ID Care.

ID Care was founded in 2014 with a budget of AUD$800,000 (£515,402, US$575,452) and receives cybercrime victim referrals from police and agencies including the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN). Those victims have little recourse because no state will reissue a new driver licence number, Lacey says.

"The county is broken when it comes to this," Dr Lacey says told the AusCERT conference on the Gold Coast.

"We are not in a good place in the moment."

Victims of driver-licence theft often find fraudulent inquiries made against their credit file, but they can do little to stop fraud, Dr Lacey says.

Australia's three credit bureaus can put blocks on credit files, but the stop lasts only 21 days, and takes two days to implement.

Fraud is typically conducted 72 hours after a drivers licence is stolen.

No state will reissue a new driver licence number meaning that once the document is stolen, victims could be considered permanently compromised.

IDCare managing director Dr David Lacey. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

IDcare managing director Dr David Lacey. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register.

Dr Lacey has pushed for the ability for victims to be able to receive new driver's licence numbers but has met resistance from Australia's State governments and their licencing authorities.

Across all industries Dr Lacey says the Australian tech sector has one of the worst performance ratings for handling cybercrime victims.

About eight percent of victims are sufficiently distressed that they require face-to-face counselling, he says. ®

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