Five simple ways to protect your family and friends from identity theft

The end of the financial year isn’t just a busy time for accountants – it’s also a prime time for cybercriminals who try to steal your information and money.

Know what to protect

Personal information that could be used by scammers to impersonate someone can include their full name, date of birth, current address, bank account numbers, credit card details, tax file number, drivers licence or passport details, and any passwords.

Remind them to keep their personal information safe and secure

If personal information is stolen it can be very difficult to get back. It’s best to store things like a tax file number or birth certificate somewhere safe and secure – for example, don’t carry it around in a wallet or handbag or saved on a phone.

Warn them if they share too much on social media

Scammers can use information published on social networking sites to steal identities. If you see someone sharing personal information online, remind them that they could be putting themselves at risk of targeted attacks. It’s also a good idea to make sure profiles are set to private, and to be cautious about which friend requests to accept.

Be suspicious of requests for personal information

If you notice that your family and friends have received a request for their personal information, tell them to treat the request with caution. Scammers can be believable and will sometimes quote personal information to sound authentic, so if you hear that someone is asking for personal information, consider the possibility that it may be a scam. To check if a call, email, SMS is from the ATO call us on 1800 008 540 to confirm.

Know legitimate ways to make payments

Scammers may use threatening tactics to trick their victims into paying false debts in pre-paid gift cards or by sending money to non-ATO bank accounts. To check that a payment method is legitimate, we have a list on our website that outlines payment methods, visit ato.gov.au/howtopay
For more information about protecting your personal information, visit ato.gov.au/identitycrime or staysmartonline.gov.au

If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised and misused, you can contact Australia's National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCare or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit.

At Credit Union SA we are committed to keeping you and your money safe while transacting with us. Find out more about our Fraud Bureau Service and 24/7 Fraud Monitoring on our Security page.

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