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Take care with tenancy selection, PMs urged

By Jay Garcia
18 June 2015 | 10 minute read
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PMs have been urged to conduct more thorough background checks, with hundreds of thousands of Australians falling victim to identity theft.

Fiona Long, head of cybercrime at credit reference agency Veda, said property managers must remain eternally vigilant about identity fraud.

“You shouldn’t just be checking your tenant through tenancy databases to see if they’ve punched a hole in a wall,” she told the National Property Management Conference.

“You also want to know that the person and the documents they’re giving you are real and check for bankruptcy status and passports.”

According to Ms Long, fake identification is easily attained online and can often look as good as the genuine article.

“If I’m a person that’s had a drug lab and been busted, then I go out to get another property, I’m not going to give you my true address or previous address.

“I might give you some fake documents, which are quite easy to get. For $60 you can get a fake driver’s licence with the hologram.”

Ms Long said identity fraud is a very real problem that continues to affect people around the country.

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“We’ve done some research recently and found that almost 800,000 Australians have been a victim of identity theft in the past year,” she said.

Ms Long added that being thorough during tenant selection means going beyond a tenancy database to ensure potential tenants don’t raise any red flags.

That can include cross-checking tenants against includes bankruptcy statuses, court judgments, electoral rolls and insurance reference databases, which can all be done through Veda.

“It’s about finding information about the tenants so you and the landlord can make an informed decision together.”

 

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