Protecting your identity
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information, your name or credit card number, without your permission, with the intention to commit fraud or other crimes. For example, if thousands of dollars appeared on your next bank statement for goods you didn't buy, it is likely your identity has been stolen.
How to protect your identity
- Keep your personal documents secure, preferably locked in a safe place.
- Secure your mailbox with a lock and when you move, redirect your mail.
- Limit the amount of personal information you publish online, including social media.
- Secure your computer and mobile phone using security software and strong passwords.
- Be cautious about requests for your personal information over the internet, phone and in person, in case it is a scam.
- Investigate the arrival of new credit cards you didn't ask for or bills for goods and services that aren't yours.
- Contact your bank for any unusual bank transactions or the postal service for any missing mail.
- Order a free copy of your credit report from a credit reporting agency on a regular basis, particularly if your identity has been stolen.
- Shred your old bills so that they cannot be retrieved from your bin.
Protecting and recovering your identity (Australian Government) contains information on how to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft and what to do if your identity has been stolen.
Victims of identity crime
If you know, or suspect, that you have been a victim of identity crime:
- contact your local police
- report any stolen identity documents or cards to the government agency or company that issued them to you.
SCAMWatch - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission