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New laws target identity theft

New laws target identity theft

Trying to beat ever-advancing technology to the mark it a major feat, but it's one the Western Australian government is working towards with new legislation around identity crime.

TRYING to beat ever-advancing technology to the mark it a major feat, but it's one the Western Australian government is working towards with new legislation around identity crime. 


The state's first legal officer, Attorney General Christian Porter, has announced the government will introduce what he has labelled the strongest anti-skimming and identity crime legislation in Australia. 


"As technology has advanced, identity-related crimes have escalated," Porter said. 


"In recent months, thousands of Western Australians have been victims of identity crime, to the tune of more than $2.5 million," he said. 


Cabinet yesterday approved the drafting of the anti-skimming legislation that would combine the strongest elements of the laws from other Australian jurisdictions. 


"The state government will make it a crime to produce, use or supply another persons identification when there is intent to use that information to commit a crime, or facilitate someone else to commit a crime."


The new bill would prescribe maximum penalties of three years imprisonment for illicitly possessing identification information, and for illicitly possessing equipment capable of making, using, supplying, or retaining identification documentation. 


"A strong legislative approach is needed to ensure anyone caught involved in stealing another person's identity is appropriately dealt with," Porter said. 


The legislation will make Western Australia "the least desirable place" for identity crime and skimming offenders," he said. 


Porter said the bill would be introduced into Parliament early in the new year. 

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