Advances in technology are making identity fraud one of the fastest growing crimes in Australia with $229 million lost to scams in 2015 alone.1
What's identity fraud?
Identity fraud occurs when a person uses a stolen identity to obtain credit, goods or other services fraudulently. This can happen if the person acquires sensitive information, such as credit card details, date of birth, mother's maiden name or passwords.
It pays to keep up to date with online threats
In general there’s an increase of scams around tax time, but they do occur all year round. The Australian Government regularly issues free alerts to help keep you and your identity safe. Check out the most recent security risks and advice on how to manage them at Stay Smart Online
Tips on protecting yourself
- Check financial statements for suspicious transactions.
- Shred documents with sensitive information.
- Store important information in a locked cabinet.
- Don't carry sensitive information with you.
- Avoid sending personal details through the post.
- Lock your mailbox.
- When you move have your mail redirected straight away.
Computer and mobile phone
- Don't keep sensitive financial information online, on your computer or mobile device.
- Secure your mobile device with a pin.
- Have secure passwords and easily manage them using a secure password manager.
- When shopping online, check for a secure connection.
- Limit the information you put on social networking websites and regularly check your privacy settings.
- Avoid sending personal information by email.
- Don’t click links or open attachments from unknown sources.
- Install up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software.
- Only download apps from reputable publishers and check the permission requests.
- Make sure the software on your mobile device is always up to date. These updates often include key security updates.
- Don’t use your computer’s admin account, which has complete access to your computer, as your primary account.
Dealing with organisations
- Only provide identity details to trusted organisations.
- Only offer credit card details over the phone if you initiate the call.
- If you’re unsure, ask the person calling for a number you can call them back on.
We'll never ask for your personal information via email
We're serious about protecting your information. That's why we'll never send you an email asking you to verify your personal information or provide your password, member number or other account details.
If you receive such an email we recommend you don't respond to it under any circumstances and forward the entire email to firstname.lastname@example.org, then delete it.
Find out more about identity fraud
1Australian Government, Stay Smart Online