1 in 5 Australian’s fall victim to Identity Theft.
Recent estimates by the Attorney General's Department indicate that identity crime costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year, with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams.
Identity theft is type of fraud, which involves stealing money or gaining other benefits by pretending to be someone else. It can happen by someone else using your credit card details to make purchases or using your name to open bank accounts, take our loans or credit, create mobile phone accounts or conduct illegal business activities
According to the Australian Federal Police a couple of the common methods of identity theft include:
- Theft of mail/paper articles containing personal information
- Searches through discarded mail or personal items in household or commercial rubbish
The reality is that identity theft can be a stressful, time-consuming and costly experience that many people don’t realise has occurred until it’s too late. The best way to find out if you’ve been a victim of identity theft is to keep a close eye on your financial statements and credit file. If you notice an unusual transaction you should investigate further, no matter how small the payment may be.
Prevention is always better than the cure though, so there are measures you can take both at home or in your business to protect yourself and your customers from identity theft.
The National Privacy Act requires many businesses to ensure the confidentiality of personal information of both employee and customer records. You can read more about the legislation requirements in this article written on the new Privacy laws. What is confidential material?
- Archive files
- Business records
- Contracts/service level agreements and tenders
- Correspondence revealing contract and/or financial data
- Customer records
- Job applications and interview notes
- Medical/health records
- Office files
- Personnel records
- Purchasing and accounting information
Anything that comes in the mail with your name on it including items like:
- Credit card, bank statements, ATM receipts
- Utility bills, council rates
- Insurance policies
- Car registration
- Tax records
- Medical records
The easiest and most simple way with any paper documents is to shred all documents with identity information on them.
If you are in Brisbane, Sync or Swim provide a shredding service! You can read more about that within this brochure.