Identity theft is a type of fraud that usually involves stealing money or obtaining other benefits by pretending to be someone else. Identity theft can occur in a number of ways – from someone using your name to open bank accounts, take out loans, make purchases or conduct illegal business. There are a variety of steps that you can take to help protect your personal information from identity theft.
Protect Yourself by:
- You should never reveal passwords or personal information online (such as birth date, full name, phone number etc.).
- If you use social media make sure that your privacy and security settings are set to only allow ‘friends’ to access your page.
- Always use secure websites when making purchases or transferring money online.
- You can reduce the risk of postal fraud by installing a secure mailbox. If you go away on holidays, arrange for your mail to be forwarded to the local post office.
- If you move into a new house, arrange for your mail to be forwarded and let companies (such as banks and utility companies) know your new address. Be alert for any missing mail.
Computer and Smart Mobile Devices:
- Secure your computer and smart mobile devices with security software and strong passwords.
- Avoid using public computers for sensitive activities (such as accessing your online bank account).
- You should only open attachments from sources that you know are reliable.
- Continuously review your bank and credit card statements to ensure that there are no unusual transactions.
- If you become aware of any suspicious transactions in your financial accounts you should immediately inform your credit providers
Secure or Eliminate:
- Ensure that you keep all your personal documents (e.g. passports, birth certificates etc.) in a secure place at home.
- Always destroy any documents that disclose your personal information before putting them in the rubbish.
- Be cautious about requests for personal information over the internet, phone or in person.
- Be aware of scams that are currently occurring (www.scamwatch.gov.au).
- Investigate the arrival of new credit cards that you did not apply for, or bills for goods or services that are not yours.
If you need any further information in regards to the above article, give The Quinn Group a call on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry.