By Belinda Nolan
A SPLIT second was all it took to turn Shanna De Brincat’s life upside down.
The Keilor Downs resident was living a nightmare after her identity was stolen two years ago.
The then-19-year-old was working behind the counter at a homewares store in Centro Keilor when a brazen thief stole her purse from under her nose.
“This lady came in and she kept bugging me asking me to check if we had different products out the back,” Ms De Brincat said.
“When I look back on it, it was obvious she was trying to get me away from the counter, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.” After reporting the theft to police and her bank, Ms De Brincat thought the matter was over.
But the nightmare had just begun.
“I had pretty much forgotten about it when one day I got a phone call from the Good Guys, asking me to confirm a finance plan for a new laptop.
“That’s when I realised something was going on.”
To her horror, Ms De Brincat discovered the thief had not only stolen her purse but her very identity, using her driver’s licence and bank cards to lease a computer and up to five new mobile phones.
But it didn’t end there.
The crafty thief even managed to use Ms De Brincat’s licence to change her pin number, withdrawing hundreds of dollars from her bank account.
“I was in complete shock,” Ms De Brincat said.
“Apparently she went into the bank and told them some story about forgetting her pin number.
“They were suspicious but she had so many forms of ID, they allowed her to do it.”
National Fraud Identity Awareness Week is held from 9-15 October and aims to raise awareness of crime.
For more information visit www.stopidtheft.com.au.
By Belinda Nolan