Identity theft fraud happens when criminals hijack a person’s identity by obtaining their information and applying for credit cards or loans.
The most common way identity theft occurs is when a scammer gains access to private information such as a driver’s licence, medicare card, health care records, debit or credit cards and bills, through an unsecured mailbox or even a compromised computer or device containing personal details.
Targeted individuals often don’t know they’ve been a victim of identity theft until some time has passed after the initial crime. However, indicators to watch for include: items appearing on your bank or credit card statements that you don’t recognise, refusal of a financial service despite a good credit history, or receiving letters from solicitors or debt collectors for debts you didn’t incur.
Tips on how to prevent yourself falling victim include:
- Minimise the risk of mail theft by securing your mailbox (e.g. with a padlock).
- Cancel unused bank/utility/phone accounts.
- Securely dispose of any documents that may contain personal details (such as bank and credit card statements, bills, etc).
- Obtain a copy of your personal credit file to make sure there is no unusual activity. You can request this once a year from credit reporting agencies such as Equifax and Illion for free.
- Promptly report to the police any loss or theft of personal documents and contact all merchants that may have sold goods to the fraudster.
- Limit social media exposure - check your privacy settings and think twice about what you share publicly. If you have been targeted by a scam relating to your Qudos account, visit our webpage Reporting Scams to find out who to contact
Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.