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Solved Gophone Your amp;t Own Knowledge You On With Never 're At Twins Kirby Anquetil and Novak Tucker were surprised when they got a phone call from a Department of Transport investigator.

Their drivers' licences were among hundreds which had been flagged as being possibly fake under the department's new facial recognition technology.

The investigator made an appointment to meet the twins and verify they were two different people.

Mrs Anquetil said the interview was not too complicated.

"I handed over my driver's licence and my learner's permit for my manual drivers licence and Novak handed over her driver's licence - "

Ms Tucker finished the rest of her twin's sentence.

"And, proof of I.D. card, and he took a photo and pretty much was on his way."

The twins said they were initially puzzled by the department's queries because they have held WA drivers' licences for six years.

Novak Tucker said her sister had recently married but at first she did not connect that with the department's phone call.

"It was a bit strange to me; [the investigation] came up right after she changed her last name from being her maiden name to her married name," she said.

Mrs Anquetil says in hindsight, the name change must have been the trigger.

"That's what made it look fraudulent," she said.

"If [the department] can't tell the difference in your photo, which a lot of people can't, that was more of a reason for them to come and check."

Fake licences

The department has investigated more than 200 people since it introduced the facial recognition technology in January last year.

It has referred 26 cases of suspected licence fraud to WA Police for further investigation.

Of those, seven people have been prosecuted on charges ranging from perverting the course of justice to fraud.

WA Police said most of those convicted used the extra licence to try avoid paying traffic fines or losing demerit points.

In one case, a taxi driver tried to avoid 23 infringements by getting drivers' licences in the name of two Irish backpackers.

The driver of a pink hummer limousine who had received 17 infringements was also prosecuted for holding multiple drivers' licences.

The department's Nina Lyhne said it is likely those prosecuted had exploited the licensing system before tougher identification checks and the new technology were introduced.

"Prior to that system, people found ways of getting around the system and we've now got a very good, very robust system for ensuring that can't happen anymore," he said.

Ms Lyhne said the facial recognition checks are run each time someone applies for a licence at one of its centres.

"We run that photograph against our database and we've got some very good technology that allows us to check that photo against all the other photos we have in the database," she said.

"That then allows us to establish whether that individual has already got a driver's licence here in Western Australia."

Professor Craig Valli, from the Security Research Institute at Edith Cowan University, says the new technology is needed.

He said people holding a fake driver's licence can commit a range of crimes, varying from minor in nature to very serious.

"They could open bank accounts potentially, they could raise debt in your name, they could purchase on your behalf, potentially transfer land, a whole range of things," he said.

Professor Valli also warned that people in organised crime can be deceptively good actors.

"Criminals are very good at socially engineering a result so they may put on the tears, or role play and do a bit of distressed person," he said.

"It then forms a chain of events where their fake identity, as they accumulate these [I.D.] tokens, actually gets more and more plausible and believable."

Ms Lyhne says the department is confident its tough gold standard identification system will make it harder for people to defraud licensing.

"We train our staff in the application of those standards and we work very closely with other agencies like the police, Immigration and Births, Deaths and Marriages to make sure those standards are maintained," she said.

However, she conceded criminals are often one step ahead of government agencies.

"We need to be constantly vigilant and looking for people attempting to get around the system using new means and dealing with that," she said.

Topics: fraud-and-corporate-crime, perth-6000

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