• Demystify Cyber

Fact Sheet - identity theft

Updated: Mar 23

Theft of personal information, such as name, address, date of birth, driver’s licence number, and bank account information, is a way for criminals to fraudulently apply for credit, fund criminal organisations and provide a new identity to a felon hiding from law enforcement. Identity theft can occur both physically and via technology, however given the increase in interconnectivity it is becoming easier for criminals to steal identities online.

Tips to stay protected from identity theft:

  • Don’t overshare on social media – criminals use social media to locate personal details that they can use to assume identities or to use trick other people into providing more details.

  • Check your privacy settings on the social media accounts and don’t accept connections from people you do not know or cannot verify as legitimate.

  • Be vigilant with mobile device security – enable security settings such as password, PIN or biometrics. Turn off WiFi, GPS and BlueTooth when not in use.

  • Never give your personal details to people you don't know - If you receive a call, text message or email from someone who claims to be from a business, do not give them your identification details. Contact the organisation yourself to verify it is really them calling.

  • Never use public computers for banking or shopping – credentials may be inadvertently stored on the computer, or it may be infected with credential stealing malware.

  • Shred documents – Once you no longer require a document or letter that contains personal identifiers destroy the paperwork securely.

If you suspect your identity has been stolen

  • Report this matter immediately to the relevant law enforcement, take note of the report number (in Australia report via Report Cyber )

  • Change passwords – do not reuse passwords and make sure you have a different password for each account

  • Contact your bank – Explain what has happened, provide the police report number and ensure there have been no unauthorised access to your accounts or any fraudulent loans taken out in your name.

  • Contact relevant Government agencies

  • Obtain a credit report – and advise the credit reporting agency that your identity has been stolen, provide them with the police report number.

  • In Australia victims of identity theft may get support from IDCARE - http://www.idcare.org/


What to do if you are a victim of cybercrime

• Australia, please report the matter via https://www.cyber.gov.au/report

• UK, please report via report.ncsc.gov.uk

• USA, please report via https://www.ic3.gov/


Written by A. Turner

© A. Turner 2021 https://www.demystifycyber.com.au/

Provided for general information and education purposes

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