With our accrescent use of the internet for sensitive applications such as banking, government records and commerce, the risk of identity theft is on the rise. Unfortunately, this crime often has devastating consequences for its victims – if the wrong hands get hold of your personal information, it is not just your identity that can be stolen but also your money, property and reputation.
If you suspect your identity has been stolen, please book a consultation with IFW to commence an investigation as soon as possible. Our expert investigators will uncover evidence to help you identify, stop and prosecute the culprit. We can also advise you who to contact and, if required, notify the authorities and your financial institution of your efforts to overcome this crime.
Identity theft experts with a proven track record
Leading experts in identity theft, our investigators, analysts and researchers are renowned for gathering evidence and cracking down on criminals across the globe. We are highly experienced in resolving complex cases with exceptional efficiency.
With direct access to local databases, expert witnesses in cyber fraud, and a network of confidential informants, IFW takes a driven and dynamic approach to investigate even the most sophisticated identity theft scams in foreign jurisdictions.
IFW has unparalleled experience liaising with state, federal and international law enforcement agencies. Our investigators can also join forces with local and foreign correspondent lawyers to uncover money trails and hidden assets in nearly any country.
Our investigators provide a comprehensive brief of evidence for use in criminal proceedings in the appropriate jurisdiction. Equipped with valid proof of identity theft, and the fraudsters responsible, you can take legal action to recover your losses.
IFW performs each identity theft investigation with utmost professionalism, sensitivity and confidentiality. To ensure our clients’ privacy, every piece of personal data will be encrypted and no case details be disclosed without consent.
Tackle all four types of identity theft
Criminal identity theft occurs when an accused offender adopts an innocent person’s identity with the aim of evading arrest and charges. This type of fraud may be challenging, but not impossible, to prove and combat.
Financial identity theft is the most common form of this fraud, and involves using the victim’s information to gain access to their funds. This can be achieved with a myriad of scams, such as stealing credit card details or acting as a financial institution to obtain sensitive information.
Medical identity theft is evident when a culprit pretends to be someone else whilst seeking healthcare services, for example to access insurance coverage. The thief’s treatment is included in the victim’s medical records, which can result in serious consequences, such as misdiagnosis, in the future.
In the case of child identity theft, a criminal uses a minor’s personal information for all sorts of gain – from establishing a line of credit to purchasing property. The child’s identity is viewed as particularly valuable because it is likely a blank slate with no associated information yet.
Frequently asked questionsTop
Yes, identity theft is a type of fraud that occurs when an offender steals their victim’s personal information to access money or other personal benefits, such as a passport, clean criminal record or insurance coverage.
To commit identity theft, a criminal may steal sensitive information, such as your:
- Full name;
- Place of birth;
- Date of birth;
- Home address;
- Passport information;
- Personal identifier such as a tax file number;
- Driver’s licence number;
- Credit card details;
- Health insurance details; and
- Bank account logins
Armed with your personal information, a criminal can access your:
- Online government portal, email and social media accounts; and
- Existing bank account and make purchases with your credit card.
But the damage does not always stop there. A thief can also apply for a:
- Credit card, loan or bank account in your name;
- Passport in your name;
- Government benefit in your name;
- Driving licence and register a vehicle in your name;
- Job in your name; and
- Mobile phone and/or other utility contracts in your name.
Consequently, this crime can wreak havoc on your life and should be reported as soon as you suspect any suspicious activity.
While identity theft comes in many forms, there are certain tell-tale warning signs to watch out for:
- Your bank or credit card statements are displaying items you do not recognise;
- Bills, invoices or receipts are being sent to you for purchases you did not make;
- A government agency informs you of a government benefit you did not apply for;
- Lenders decline your applications because of a poor credit history due to debts you have played no part in;
- Solicitors or debt collectors send you letters of demand for debts you have not incurred;
- Mail you usually receive stops arriving, or you receive no post at all;
- You can no longer log into your social media accounts or email; or
- Organisations you have never dealt with begin to contact you.
If you suspect that you have been targeted by identity thieves, it is essential that you follow the below steps immediately:
- Report the theft to your financial institutions, social media websites, local police and Scam Watch so that each body is informed and can help you take the appropriate steps to recover from the theft.
- Contact IFW investigators for assistance in tracking down and stopping the culprit behind the crime effectively. This is an extremely sensitive, high-stakes process that demands the expertise and resources of investigative specialists.
Identity theft investigations typically take between one and three months. However, this time frame depends on your case’s complexity and whether or not legal action is involved.
Once the thief has been identified and located, IFW investigators can support law enforcement officials in filing search warrants and/or criminal charges against them – an often complicated procedure that can take considerable time to complete.
The cost of an identity theft investigation varies according to the complexity of the case, the damage incurred, and the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed.
At IFW, our investigators present a tailored proposal for each case, detailing the recommended budget to maximise the likelihood of a successful outcome.
The more admissible evidence we gather against the thief, the greater the likelihood that you will be able to take legal action and get your life back on track.
However, as a successful outcome is never guaranteed, IFW will conduct a preliminary assessment of your case to advise on the realistic chances of finding the criminal. Equipped with this expert insight, you can decide whether or not you wish to proceed with the investigation.