What to do if you are a victim of identity theft

Identity theft can happen the moment somebody steals your personal details. Here's what to do if you think your identity has been stolen.

Identity theft can happen the moment somebody steals your personal details. If you think your personal details have been stolen you should:

1. Change your passwords

Consider all your accounts, including online banking, computer log-in, mobile log-in, email, and social media. You may have to consider completely closing your email account and creating a new address.

2. Report it to police immediately

Report the crime to police immediately and ask for a copy of the police report, as you will need to provide this to banks and financial institutions.

3. Contact your bank or financial institution

Discuss whether you need to close any accounts you did not open, and whether you need to set up new accounts and PINs for your existing accounts.

4. Inform relevant government agency or business

You will need to contact the agency or business relevant to the documents that were stolen.

5. Get your credit report

Contact a credit reporting agency such as Equifax, or get a free credit report from ASIC and advise them you have been a victim of identity fraud. You can check your credit report to find out what companies have checked your credit history recently, and advise them not to authorise any accounts in your name. You may also consider placing a temporary ban on your credit report meaning they cannot share your report with any credit providers without your consent.

6. Contact IDCARE

IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service. It is a free government-industry service which will work with you to develop a response plan to reduce the risk and impact of identity theft.

7. Apply for a Commonwealth Victims’ Certificate

A Commonwealth Victims’ Certificate can be provided to businesses or government agencies to help support your claim that you have been a victim of identity theft.

Read Tips to avoid identity theft to find out how to keep your personal information safe.

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