Man arrested on 106 fraud and identity crime charges

A 25-year-old man has today been arrested on 106 charges related to Commonwealth fraud and identity crime, Queensland Police say.

Today’s arrest follows a joint investigation between the Financial and Cyber Crime Group, State Crime Command and the Criminal Law Investigations area of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

It is alleged the man has been linked to 63 fraudulent tax return lodgements via myTax, from September 2015 to July 2016.

During the investigation, officers identified 42 bank accounts allegedly opened in the man’s name, linked to 54 unique tax file number (TFN) identity take-overs. The alleged fraud totals $566,762.

The Financial and Cyber Crime Group along with a number of other units within the Queensland Police Service have been working closely with the ATO over the last few years.

“This is pleasing and a further development in our inter-agency relationship which does not bode well for offenders, ” Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.

“We would ask members of the community to maintain control of their personal identification information to reduce the instance of this and other fraudulent crimes occurring,” he said.

ATO Deputy Commissioner Will Day said the joint investigation is a strong example of the results that can be achieved when agencies work together, sharing intelligence and investigation tools.

“The ATO uses sophisticated data analysis tools to catch criminals who attempt to break the law,” Mr Day said.

“These alleged crimes are serious. For those who deliberately try to defraud the Commonwealth and rip off honest taxpayers, our message is simple – you will be caught, and you will face prosecution.”

Mr Day also said this is a timely reminder to all taxpayers to keep their identifying information, like tax file numbers, bank account details and their date of birth, secure.

“Fraudsters can steal personal identification information using various methods from sources outside of the ATO.

“This information is then used to impersonate ATO clients and lodge fraudulent tax returns,” he said.

If you think your personal identifying information (including TFN) have been lost, stolen or misused, or you have been the victim of identity crime, you should contact the ATO Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 as soon as possible. The ATO will work with you to get your account back in order.

Anyone with information which could assist us to detect further scam activity should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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