The ACCC has revealed that Australians lose millions of dollars yearly to identity fraud.
As a preventative measure, the Victorian State Government introduced the requirement that legal practitioners take reasonable steps to verify the identity of their clients in certain circumstances.
It is important that these rules are implemented to minimise the risk of fraud occurring in all property transactions and to protect all parties involved.
What is the standard Verification of Identity (“VOI”) procedure?
In most cases, a VOI is conducted in person either at your solicitor’s office or at your local Australia Post.
When conducting your verification, Schedule 8 of the ARNECC Model Participation Rules provides that verifiers should undertake the following steps:
- Conduct a review of original identity documents (100 points of identity required);
- Complete a face to face interview with the client; and
- Be satisfied of the reasonable likeness between the person being identified and the photos in the identity documents.
Once a solicitor has completed the above steps, they may sign off on your Settlement or complete your lodgement.
What if I cannot complete my VOI in person?
In the event that you cannot attend your solicitor’s office or your local Australia Post, you can complete your VOI remotely.
In accordance with ARNECC Model Participation Rule 6.5.2, a verifier is not required to conduct a face to face interview so long as they have taken reasonable steps to verify the client’s identity.
Infotrack offers a WEBVOI option whereby your solicitor can send you a link to enable you to submit your proof of identity through an online portal.
The WEBVOI allows you to securely upload photos of the required identity documents and to record a short video reading a code. The video will be assessed using facial recognition software and the information contained within documents will be compared to government records.
At Burke & Associates Lawyers, we promote the use of this new technology if you are unable to complete a face-to-face interview, as it is important to our firm to make the VOI process faster and easier for clients, whilst also reducing the risk of identity fraud.