Brokers have been warned to be on the lookout for fraud, and one top broker has said his experiences have shown how easy it is for borrowers to commit identity fraud.
Veda’s Imelda Netwon has told Australian Broker TV
that the credit agency has seen a 103% rise in the use of stolen identities in fraudulent activity in the last year alone, and has warned brokers to be on the lookout.
“what’s of more concern for us is what we’ve seen in the increase in organised crime and the activity that’s behind that organised crime. Sadly, a lot of that activity is around the use of stolen identity and identity takeovers, and that has a far-reaching effect on the market, both on consumers and broker reputation and losses to the lenders,” she said.
Newton said brokers can help prevent fraud by spotting telltale signs when dealing with clients.
“Firstly they should probably look for inconsistencies and unusual behaviour. By inconsitencies I mean things that just don’t add up in an application,” she said.
But Stephen Dinte of Australian Mortgage Planners has said fighting fraud can be an uphill battle when even government departments issuing identity documents often get things wrong.
“In recent times I am finding the worst culprits at producing dodgy identity documentation are the various government departments,” he told Australian Broker. “I’ve been given driver licences with abbreviated names, i.e. Joe in lieu of Joseph, driver licences with additional letters added to names, i.e. Chantelle in place of Chantell as well as Medicare cards with Christian names spelt incorrectly. It is a case of lazy public servants being inattentive at their jobs,” Dinte said.
Dinte said the cases in question were clients well known to him, rather than borrowers actively trying to perpetrate fraud. But he said the situation highlighted the difficulties brokers could face in this area.
“What this does demonstrate is how simple it must be for the bad guys to commit identity theft or fraud,” he said.