www.cyber.gov.au and the Police

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www.cyber.gov.au and the Police 

Unlike New Zealand, there are state and federal police in Australia and it can be difficult to determine which one to report the compromise of personal information. In most cases your local police station is the best place to start. If you believe your information may have been compromised or misused online, then the local police are likely to refer you to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) for Australians. 

www.cyber.gov.au and Police report numbers 

A www.cyber.gov.au Reference Number (for online events in Aust) and a Police Report Number (for offline events) are critical for someone who believes their personal information is at risk. These numbers are relied upon throughout the response system by service providers and credit reporting agencies to assist them in progressing your protection and response requirements. In relation to police progressing your matter this will depend on a number of factors, least of which is the prospect of an investigative outcome. 

Police Engagement 

Most Australians and New Zealanders in their ordinary lives have had little to do with police. When you experience the compromise of your information and/or its misuse, you not only have to respond to the event but work out which organisations you need to engage, how, why and what to expect. In IDCARE’s experience, every police agency across Australia and New Zealand will differ slightly with how they do things. In Australia, state and territory police have primary responsibility for progressing individual reports of identity and cybercrime. Accessing police report numbers can be at times difficult in some states and the physical copy of a report is something that you may have to pay for. Whilst it may be complex for individual events that originate from offshore to be investigated, it’s important to remember that one person’s report can be a critical contribution in building this picture. 

Police Process 

Like any reported matter to the Police, an identity and cybercrime report from an individual or business will need to be assessed and prioritised against other matters. For local police this may be an assessment against reports of assault, abuse and disturbing the peace. For someone who experiences identity and cyber-related crimes the most critical part of your engagement with police is the reporting process and evidencing that the report has been made. The risks to individuals in most cases are much larger and require many more actions that don’t rely on police involvement. 

To explore these IDCARE provides clients with Response Plans that are tailored to your needs and are developed in a way that meets your priorities and capabilities. A key step in these plans we develop will almost always be to report your matter to police, because evidencing such reporting is a critical step in the broader response journey most people will confront. 

Useful links


Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:

IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. We are a not-for-profit charity.

  • The Services provide do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult a solicitor in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this product or service, to the maximum extent permitted by law all conditions, terms, representations, and warranties (in each case, whether express or implied) in connection with the provision of the Services which might otherwise be binding upon IDCARE are excluded.
  • IDCARE’S liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person or organisation (including, without limitation, any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with the Services (including without limitation liability for any negligent act or omission, or statement, representation or misrepresentation of any officers, employees, agents, contractors or consultants of IDCARE) shall be limited to the fees paid by you to IDCARE in respect of the Services. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability extends to any liability arising from any actions performed or not performed as a result of any recommendations made in course of providing the Services.
  • The Services provided by IDCARE are intended to be provided solely to the initial recipient of this document or service and IDCARE will not be liable to any other person who may receive this document.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this alert, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the the Services or any accompanying data provided. Wider dissemination may be permitted by authority in writing from IDCARE’s Managing Director. If you would like to provide feedback please use our Feedback Form.

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IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   

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