Unfortunately frauds and scams are a growing part of Australian life.
Your identity is a valuable asset—to both you and criminals. A disturbing fact is, with enough information, identity thieves can pretend to be you.
Once an identity thief has enough of your personal information, they can:
- trick your bank or financial institution into giving them access to your money and other financial accounts;
- open new accounts in your name and rack up huge debts which can ruin
your credit rating and good name.
Protect your identity
Although the risk of identity theft in Australia remains relatively low, it is increasing, and it is important that you take steps now, to protect your good name.
Protecting your personal information
- Lock all personal documents in a safe container when not using them.
- Don’t carry personal information unless you have to.
- Destroy personal information before putting it in the bin.
- Put a lock on your letterbox.
- Don’t respond to suspicious mail or e-mail.
- Don’t store personal details on mobile phones.
Protecting personal information on your computer
- Use passwords and access controls.
- Avoid giving out personal information over the internet.
- Never click on a link or open an attachment in an e-mail from someone you don’t know and trust.
- Regularly install and update anti-virus protection software.
- Avoid using public computers to access your personal information.
Don't be a phone scam victim
- Avoid giving personal or financial information over the phone.
- Do not just accept everything you are told from people who have called you offering you 'the opportunity of a lifetime'. Ask questions.
- Install caller ID on your phone and record the numbers of unusual calls.
- Contact the "Do Not Call Register".
What to do if you are the victim of identity theft
- Immediately inform the Police.
- Alert your bank and financial institution and be guided by them.
- Close all unauthorised accounts that have been opened in your name. Remember this includes phone and department stores as well as financial institutions.
- Keep all documentation.
Further information is available at "Identity Security".