Marian resident loses $27,000 in identity theft mishap

A RECENTLY reported incident of identity theft outlines why this is a topic which should not be ignored.

Police said a Marian resident reported that a criminal has gained identity information linked to the victim, and has used this information online, initially, to redirect all in-coming mail for the victim to an address in New South Wales.

The stolen identity information has then been used to apply for two separate lines of credit, totalling more than $27, 000 in value.

Police warned identity theftt can be used in the following ways:

  • to trick a financial institution into allowing access to accounts or generate new ones - in the process, excluding you the victim from communications with the institution
  • open a utility service in your name
  • start a business in your name
  • claim government or tax benefits against your name
  • use your details to commit on-line criminal activity
  • attack or defame you through social media

There is almost no restriction to the way in which a criminal could use a stolen identity - they are limited only by imagination.

Tips:

  • have and maintain an up-to-date anti-virus system.
  • don't respond to "phishing" - unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls seeking personal information.
  • be cautious, don't over-share on social media platforms.  These are happy hunting grounds for identity thiefs.
  • It's nearly Christmas, if you are shopping on-line, only use secured sites, look for "HTTPS" (the "s" means secure) in the URL.
  • Monitor the activity in your bank accounts.

Finally, if you suspect at any stage that your identification details have been stolen - report the matter to your relevant financial institution as soon as possible, then contact A.C.O.R.N. (the Australian Cybercrime On-line Reporting Network) to report the matter so it can be properly investigated.



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