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Confirm identity using evidence

Type of countermeasure

This is a prevention countermeasure. Prevention countermeasures are the most common and cost effective way to stop fraud. They prevent or limit the size of the fraud risk by reducing the likelihood and consequences of fraud.

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Make sure to confirm the identity (an attribute or set of attributes that uniquely describe a subject within a given context) of the person making the request or claim using evidence. This control is supported by the National Identity Proofing Guidelines and the Trusted Digital Identity Framework.

Why this countermeasure matters

Whole-of-Government policies require a high level of confidence in the identity of a customer when providing government services and payments. Lack of identify confirmation for claims or requests can lead to fraudsters:

  • impersonating customers or third parties to receive fraudulent payments or gain access to information
  • providing false or misleading information or stolen evidence of identity to support a request or claim
  • using false identities to receive fraudulent payments or gain access to information.

How to put this countermeasure in place

Some ways to implement this countermeasure include requiring:

  • policies, rules, processes and systems to make sure only known, authorised people gain access to networks, systems and information
  • all program applicants to provide certified copies of primary and secondary identification (passport, birth certificates, driver's licences) – verify these using Identity Matching Services (DVS and FVS)
  • the use of myGovID to confirm an individual’s identity online
  • the use of Relationship Authorisation Manager to confirm the identity of someone acting on behalf of a business online
  • entry level checks to confirm the identity of staff and contractors
  • service providers to provide evidence of the identity of all company directors.

How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness

Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:

  • Review identity confirmation controls and policies to see if they conform to legislation and the National Identity Proofing Guidelines.
  • Confirm the existence of reference and guidance material.
  • Confirm processes are consistently applied both within channels and across channels.
  • Check how evidence of identity is verified.
  • Review a sample of completed claims to confirm correct processes were undertaken.
  • Ask staff about the identity processes and systems to make sure they have a consistent and correct understanding.
  • Undertake pressure testing or a process walk-through to confirm that someone cannot get around processes.
  • Identify how the requirements are communicated to staff, customers and third parties.
  • Review identified cases of fraud involving the use of a false or stolen identity.

Related countermeasures

This type of countermeasure is supported by:

Develop clear instructions and guidance for activities and processes, such as instructions for collecting the right information to verify eligibility or entitlements, procedures to help staff apply consistent and correct processes and guidance to help staff make correct and ethical decisions.

Collaborate with strategic partners such as other government entities, committees, working groups and taskforces. This allows you to share capability, information and intelligence and to prevent and disrupt fraud.

Provide help and support to customers, staff and third parties to help them follow correct processes and encourage them to comply with rules and processes and meet expectations.

Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.

Escalate non-standard requests or claims for further review or scrutiny. Non-standard requests or claims might include those that are late, do not meet normal conditions, include evidence that is difficult to verify (such as from overseas) or are for amounts that are higher than normal.

Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.

Related Fraudster Personas

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