Identity Theft on the rise and how this could affect you!

credit cards

What is identity theft?

Identity theft or (Identity Fraud)
noun

Definition
Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information, especially in order to obtain money or credit.
Reference: Merriam-Webster

We all need to protect our private information from identity theft, as it can be financially and emotionally devastating to have our personal details taken and used illegally. Here are some ways Identity thieves use stolen identities and other personal information:

  • Applying for a government benefit
  • Creating fake businesses to commit refund fraud
  • Creating new AUSkeys to commit fraud
  • Accessing your bank account and shop using your credit card
  • Accessing your MyGov account
  • Stealing money from your superannuation account
  • Selling your identity to a national or international organised crime groups on the black market.
  • Adopting your identity, to scam money or run away from a crime they have already committed.

It may be easier than you think!

Identity thieves may only need basic details such as your name, date of birth, address, MyGov details or tax file number to commit fraud.

If your identity is stolen, it can take several weeks or even months to fix the issue. Making it difficult for you to get a job, or a loan, rent a house, or apply for government services or benefits in the future.

How can you protect yourself from having your identity stolen?

  • Shred all documentation containing personal information before throwing them away.
  • Only choose strong passwords. (A password made up of letters, numbers and symbols are much harder to hack.)
  • Protect your computer is with legitimate antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware software.
  • Keep your personal items and cards safe at all times.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Integra Business Accountants.

or

Contact:

ATO’s Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 between the hours of 8:00am – 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.

ASIC’s MoneySmart site for all Identity Fraud information
www.moneysmart.gov.au

Hannah Ridley
Integra Client Success Manager