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The Impersonator

The Impersonator pretends they are another person or entity to dishonestly gain personal benefits.

This might involve using false or stolen identities, attributes or credentials for personal gain.

Examples:

  • A criminal poses as a vendor to hijack payments intended for the vendor.
  • A scammer uses stolen identities to receive fraudulent payments.

Case studies

Three Queensland women allegedly submitted several fraudulent applications to attempt to access early release of superannuation totalling $113,500. Police allege that the women, who are allegedly linked to a sophisticated crime gang, collected identity data in order to access the superannuation accounts of unsuspecting victims. The women were arrested following investigations by the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.

A Sydney man was arrested over alleged fraudulent claims for Australians affected by the recent bushfires and coronavirus. It is alleged that the man had assumed up to 11 identities and created 53 fictitious identities to submit claims for Commonwealth Government benefits. The value of the alleged fraudulent payments is approximately $70,000.

Countermeasures

Counter the Impersonator using measures that support identity security and authentication:

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.

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.

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.

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