Identity Theft Common Questions

  • Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, like your name, Medicare number, ATO number, My Gov or credit card details, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.

  • There are many ways to identify whether you have been a victim of identity theft. Maintaining vigilance of your personal data and online accounts, checking your credit reports.

    Here are a few examples of situations that might occur if you have been a victim of identity theft:

    • You get an unexpected letter from a bank or the ATO (Australian Taxation Office)
    • You’re denied straightforward credit such as a store card or credit card limit increase
    • You receive emails from legitimate businesses about a purchase you never made
    • Your bank flags a suspicious credit card transaction
    • You start getting calls from collections agencies (Debt Collectors for credit you know nothing about
    • You stop receiving emails or paper statements for credit cards or bank accounts you hold with financial institutions
    • your mail is redirectedY
    • You loose coverage on your phone and the number is ported without your authorisation
    • A debit account is opened in your name
  • Immediately contact your bank and any other financial institutions.

    1. Place a Ban on your credit reports
    2. Obtain a copy of your credit report from Australia’s 3 credit reporting bodies (CRBs) Experian, Equifax and Illion
    3. Confirm there is no fraudulent activity on your credit report
    4. Determine the type of identity document that was stolen
    5. Notify the police and obtain a police report number or report cyber ACSC
    6. Contact your credit providers directly a raise a fraud investigation
    7. Raise a dispute with the fraudulent credit provider. Recover My identity may be able to assist in raising a dispute on your behalf with the credit provider – although some may insist you contact them directly so an investigation can be raised with their fraud department
  • Use strong, unique passwords, monitor your financial statements regularly, and be cautious when sharing personal information online.

  • There are many scenarios in which your personal information could be accessed for unlawful use. Being aware of some of the more common forms of identity theft is an important step in keeping your information safe and secure.

    Common situations in which your personal or payment information could be accessed and some ways you can protect yourself are outlined below.

    How could a fraudster access my personal information?

    • Providing your details via social media or services such as online dating
    • Signing up to unknown software or applications
    • Via physical mail items including documents that may contain personal details such as bank and credit card statements and pre-approved credit card offer
    • By thieving items from your mailbox such as bank statements, credit cards, mortgage documents
    • Via any unsecured websites that you have used, fake shopping website that impersonate the real ones using fake or similar domains. You can use this site to ensure they are safe:
    • Through a data breach at an organisation you are a customer of
    • If you have your wallet or purse stollen. Items that may contain your details include your driver’s licence, health fund card, Medicare card, credit card, Centrelink card, passport
    • By skimming credit and debit cards via unsecured ATM or EFTPOS terminals
    • Through internet or competition scams that you provide personal detail to
    • Via fake or unknown source online forms that you enter your details into
    • Through scammers that you provide your details to over the phone who claim to be from an organisation that they do not work for
    • Access a copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus. Regularly checking your credit report allows you to monitor for any suspicious credit applications that you did not make yourself, using the recover my ID App.
    • Lock your mailbox and make sure you check it regularly
    • Avoid using obvious passwords, or always using the same passwords and personal identification numbers
    • If an email seems odd, it probably is. Be especially careful about opening any attachments or clicking on any links in suspicious emails. Check the email address that the correspondence has come from to make sure it’s from the company/person that you think it is
    • Never give out personal details over the phone unless you are certain that you trust the caller. If you aren’t sure, arrange to call the business back on a number that you have verified via a separate source
    • Take note if a shop or service wants to take a photocopy of your driver’s licence or passport
    • Never give personal or financial details to people you don’t know
    • Think about the information you are posting on social media, ensuring you don’t put any personal information on social channels
    • A bank will never call or email you asking you to transfer funds to another account or a ‘safe’ account
    • Where possible, use two or three step authentications online
  • Unfamiliar charges on your credit card, unexpected bills, or collection calls for accounts you didn't open. A drop in you credit rating score.

  • Identity theft can occur through data breaches, phishing scams, lost or stolen personal documents, or unsecured websites.
  • Using the Recover My Identity App

  • The app provides tools to immediately stop anyone using your details to get a credit card, a loan or a telephone contract in your name in the whole of Australia, report identity theft, and access recovery resources.

  • The app is free to download, and a small fee is charged to use it varying levels of protection and features. There are no subscription fees.

  • Download the app, create an account, and follow the setup instructions to start protecting your identity.

  • Follow the app's prompts to report the activity and take recommended actions to secure your accounts.

  • A credit ban, also known as a credit freeze, restricts access to your credit report, making it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.

  • You can place the Ban through the recover my identity App. The major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and illion) to request a ban, the app will do all three, all you have to do is one. You will need to provide identification to perform this task in less than 3 minutes.

  • Yes, but you will need to temporarily lift the ban for the lender to access your credit report. You don’t need to lift all three just the one the credit provider uses.

  • Contact the credit reporting agency where the ban is placed and request a temporary lift. Provide details of the lender and the duration for which the lift is required.

  • A credit ban usually lasts for 21 days but can be extended upon request for 12 months, which can also be extended by the App.

  • Contact the credit reporting agency to expedite the process of lifting the ban. Inform your lender about the credit ban to avoid delays.

  • A credit ban provides strong protection against identity theft by preventing unauthorised access to your credit report, if you can’t access your report or credit rating score then you will not be able to get a credit card, loan or telephone contract in your name. This is the best method to stop in its track’s identity theft. This task is vital and can be done easily via the Recover my identity app.

  • The main downside is the inconvenience of lifting the ban when you need to apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card apart from that it is the best way of stopping identity threats.

  • If you discover a fraudulent account on your credit report, follow these steps:

    Dispute the Account: Contact the creditor and the credit reporting agency to dispute the fraudulent account.

    Tip: Ask what information was used to open the account, such as driver’s licence, address and also payslip details. This will give you a better understanding or what other measures need to be performed such as a driver’s licence number change or medicare card.

  • You can reach customer support through the app or by visiting the Recover My Identity website for contact details.

    For more detailed information, visit the Recover My Identity FAQ page or