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Identity theft costs Australians more than $1.5 bn

Canberra : Identity crime is costing Australia more than $ 1.5 billion every year, a report has revealed.

The Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia report for the financial year ending in 2015 was released by Australia’s Minister for Justice Michael Keenan on Wednesday, Xinhua news reported.

Keenan said $ 290 million was spent by the government trying to prevent the thefts related to driver’s licenses and Medicare, Australia’s universal health care system, cards — most linked crimes.

The report said that one in every five Australians were victim of the crime.

“The identity crimes are grossly under reported with one third of victims not reporting either because they were embarrassed or did not know how (or where) to report…,” Keenan said.

Keenan said the impacts of identity theft extended far beyond financial losses.

“Consequences can range from mental health impacts, to wrongful criminalization, to significant emotional distress when attempting to restore one’s compromised identity,” he said.

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