- There is a very high likelihood that if your credentials are stolen you will experience identity theft.
- Targeted credentials include Passports, Driver Licences, Credit Cards, Bank Statements, Tax Statements, Medicare Cards and utility bills.
- The most common ways credentials are stolen is because of unsecured letterboxes, not checking mail daily and house burglaries where the credentials are easily accessible.
- The risk to someone who has had their credentials stolen is usually a “credit risk” – a criminal applying for credit in your name. The average time between theft and misuse is five days.
- Shared living located along key transport corridors are more targeted than other residential types.
- Be aware of what credentials are attractive to identity thieves and where you keep them.
- Ensure you have proper physical security in your home and with your letterbox.
- If you are going away, arrange for someone to collect your mail and keep an eye out.
- If you live in an apartment or dual living, talk to other residents or the body corporate about assessing the security of your mail and residence.
- Arrange for alternative ways to receive your credentials and statements than by mail (eg. collecting in person or receiving statements by email).
- Lock your credentials away in a place that’s not obvious in your home.
Detection & Response
- Make a mental note of when you are likely to receive credentials and statements and don’t delay chasing them up if they don’t arrive.
- Check your credit report once a year – it’s free to do so. Check out our Fact sheets on Credit Reports.
- If you suspect credentials and statements are stolen, let the issuing organisation know, notify your bank and ask for more security, and place a ban on your credit file (it’s free to do this and it will prevent most criminals from getting credit in your name).
- or call 1300 432 273 (Aus) / 0800 201 415 (NZ).
For more information on identity theft please see our other fact sheets;
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.
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