Protecting my identity

Advances in technology are making identity fraud one of the fastest growing crimes in Australia with $634 million lost to scams in 2019 alone.1 Common techniques used by scammers to manipulate their victims include making exclusive offers that you ‘don’t want to miss out on’ or asking for small commitments, such as completing a survey, to make you more likely to comply with larger schemes down the track.

Not all scams are done online. In fact, the majority of scams are done via the phone (41.4%) followed by email (24%) and text message (16.6%). Scammers are clever and everyone can be vulnerable to scams. Being informed can help you identify and avoid scams.

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 or personal information, such as name, residential address, bank details, date of birth, or passwords.

It pays to keep up to date with online threats

Generally, there is 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

Important documents

  • Check financial statements for suspicious transactions.
  • Shred documents that contain sensitive or personal information.
  • Store important information in a locked cabinet.


  • Don't carry sensitive information with you, such as PIN numbers and passwords.
  • Immediately report stolen or lost credit and debit cards to your financial institution.


  • Lock your mailbox.
  • When you move have your mail redirected straight away.

Computer and mobile phone

  • Be careful when sharing your personal details, especially online. Think before filling out surveys, entering competitions or opening links or attachments from unknown sources or businesses you haven’t purchased goods or services from.
  • 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.
  • Be careful when 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.

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.
  • To reduce the amount of unwanted telemarketing calls you can register your phone number in the do not call register.

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 it to, then delete it.

Find out more about identity fraud

1Australian Competitor & Consumer Commission, Targeting scams 2019