The number of people reporting personal details stolen this year has increasedsgnificantly, so far 24.000 Australians have been victims of identity theft this year. Experts have advised that scammers have been targeting Australians’ COVID-19 superannuation and financial relief.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) latest figures show that identity theft is up 55% in the same period last year.
One of the methods that scammers are using is pretending to be the Government’s employees. They contact you by phone, text, or email trying to get personal information. The hook is that for you to get access to your super or any other benefit you must share a range of personal information.
“From super details to Medicare numbers is the kind of information scammers can use to impersonate you.”
The cost of the scamming is shocking, The ACCC said $91 million had been lost to scams so far this year and $22 million of that had been lost to identity theft.
One of the victims reported $62,000 in losses after someone created a new account using their personal details. The scammer was said to try to transfer funds from a home loan account and made multiple other transactions.
Protecting your details must be a priority, here are some tips that may help you.
First and foremost, be aware of strangers contacting you claiming being members of a government agency, be careful, have you solicited any service?
“The ACCC’s advice around protecting your personal information is:
● Don’t give away any personal information to someone who contacts you, no matter who they say they are.
● Don’t click on links from unknown emails or messages senders, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate source.
● Use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and don’t share them with anyone.
● Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date.
● Limit what personal information you share about yourself online, including on social media”
While scammers may contact you by phone, text, or email. Personal information or data leaks can be the result of a lack of security in your records destruction process.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, protecting personal information is not just a right but a responsibility. Using secure destruction agencies for individuals or companies can help you to prevent losing money or incurring in hefty fines due to data breaches.