How criminals steal your identity info to take your money

Scams involving identity theft have cost Australians at least $16 million this year.

How criminals steal your identity

Scams reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) involving identity theft or the loss of personal/banking information have cost Australians at least $16 million this year, and this figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Four in 10 Scamwatch reports in 2019 involve attempts to gain information or the actual loss of victims’ personal details.

“If you think scammers might have gained access to your personal information, even in a scam completely unrelated to your finances, immediately contact your bank,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

“Timeliness in alerting your financial institution is absolutely crucial and will give you the best possible chance at recovering your funds.”

Some of the ways scammers obtain personal or banking information are:

  • phishing emails and text messages that impersonate banks or utility providers seeking your login details
  • fake online quizzes and surveys
  • fake job advertisements
  • remote access scams in which the scammer has direct access to everything on your computer
  • sourcing information about you from social media platforms
  • direct requests for scans of your driver’s license or passport, often in the course of a dating and romance scam.

“No one is really selling an iPhone for $1 or rewarding the completion of a survey with expensive electronic goods or large gift vouchers. They’re scams to get your valuable personal information,” Ms Rickard said.

“The identity thieves can make victims’ lives a nightmare. They’ll change the victims’ phone carrier so they lose service and set up mail redirections so they’re in the dark about what’s going on.”

Scammers can empty victims’ bank accounts, take out tens of thousands of dollars in bank loans under victims’ names, and purchase expensive furniture or electronics under ‘no-repayments for 12 months’ schemes.

Lost personal information also leaves victims more susceptible to future scams. Scammers will use the victim’s personal information to seem more convincing in cold calls.

“The trick is to be alert to the signs. If your mobile phone suddenly loses coverage, you haven’t received expected electronic or physical mail, or you receive unexpected notifications from a financial institution, call your bank.”

If you have been the victim of identity theft, contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273. IDCARE can guide you through the steps to reclaim your identity.

People can also report a scam to the ACCC via Scamwatch.

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Tricky
    25th Jul 2019
    10:12am
    The LNP Government is stealing our money every day through an inflated Deeming Rate for cash Term Deposits. How can we launch a criminal prosecution into these thieves?
    Theo1943
    25th Jul 2019
    12:06pm
    My calculations suggest that if the deeming rate was changed to 2% for the upper tranche a couple would be better off by $118 a fortnight if they have assets of $394,500
    Tanker
    25th Jul 2019
    1:41pm
    If a couple have assets of $394,500 they are well ahead of the bulk of us.
    Tanker
    25th Jul 2019
    1:41pm
    If a couple have assets of $394,500 they are well ahead of the bulk of us.
    Glen48
    25th Jul 2019
    11:00am
    Remember Adsick only take your details they like the rest do nothing..this helps the bank's to assist the scammers. You can't close down a website without a Police report..Police tell you to contact Acorn who take your details and then do nothing..Always check the e mail address on top of each email to see if it came from Paypal Netfles etc or billshith@russia scam mail.com
    inextratime
    25th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    Does that mean that I won't be getting the $12,000,000 USD a deceased politician in Nigeria whose relatives want to to use my bank account to get the money out of the country and will cut me in for $2,000,000 ? damn.
    inextratime
    25th Jul 2019
    11:58am
    Does that mean that I won't be getting the $12,000,000 USD a deceased politician in Nigeria whose relatives want to to use my bank account to get the money out of the country and will cut me in for $2,000,000 ? damn.
    Charlie
    25th Jul 2019
    8:47pm
    Sorry they gave all that money to me

    25th Jul 2019
    12:50pm
    I have a fear of identity theft and my social media is very limited with false information and no access allowed. We shred everything that has any sort of ID on it. I do not open any emails from senders that I'm unsure of and certainly no attachments. I hope that my efforts will make it extremely difficult for scammers but I wonder if anyone of us is safe.
    patti
    25th Jul 2019
    12:57pm
    I don't think any one is safe, OM, I am careful like you, but I got scammed last year. Luckily I managed to deflect them and contacted my bank so they had no access to my accounts. They would have been terribly disappointed anyway, as there is never enough in there to make their efforts worthwhile!
    Knight Templar
    25th Jul 2019
    1:21pm
    Beware of scammers who claim to be from VISA Security. They will tell you that your VISA card has been used for payment to a third party - usually in the USA. In order to (allegedly) refund your account they will ask for your card details. Hang up!
    KB
    25th Jul 2019
    1:32pm
    None of are safe from scammers. When in doubt delete any contact and inform ACC. Just need to be on guard
    KB
    25th Jul 2019
    1:32pm
    None of are safe from scammers. When in doubt delete any contact and inform ACC. Just need to be on guard
    Tanker
    25th Jul 2019
    1:43pm
    Scammers are only people with a business idea just like a banker or an insurance salesman.
    Tanker
    25th Jul 2019
    1:43pm
    Scammers are only people with a business idea just like a banker or an insurance salesman.
    Tricky
    25th Jul 2019
    1:50pm
    1. Unlist your phone number (landline)
    2.Give new number only to close family
    3.Caller ID will identify caller, if call is unknown let it go to voice mail.
    4.Ring Caller back after sometime. (This will assist in identifying legitimacy of caller).
    Greg
    25th Jul 2019
    5:15pm
    That should help - we built a house, new town and new phone number, been in the house for two years now and not one call has come in. And I mean not one, the phone has never rung as we didn't tell anyone the number, I don't even know it without looking it up.
    geordie
    25th Jul 2019
    7:59pm
    So let me get this straight. I just sent in a survey from YLC promising me some electronics for compiling the survey. Then I read an artcle in YLC telling me legitimate companies dont offer electronics as prizes for surveys.....mmmmm.
    Gypsy
    26th Jul 2019
    1:47pm
    ROTFLMAO - I thought the same thing!
    Charlie
    25th Jul 2019
    8:51pm
    Get the phone calls regular. My internet will be shut down if I don't press one on my telephone. Dont know what comes after that, I have hung up.
    BandalRahman
    26th Jul 2019
    12:57pm
    I saw an interview on Tv about how a victim who was scammed by HQbroker and 3 other scam brokers and was only happy to share his story cause He'd got it back through a wealth recovery group SWIFTRECOUP . COM;-
    I decided to contact the wealth recovery group (swiftrecoup) as well, My first question I put to them was that I would like to hear their opinion on HQBroker and Cryptonxt.io and whether they ever return the money invested and earned with their recovery analysts. I have invested over $500k and they have supposedly made me over $4 million but now they wanted me to send them more money to pay the Chinese Gov’t taxes before we could get the money back to me. I only had $30k and I sent it to them so that we could get some money released by the chinese gov’t and then I would send more money to get more money released. I think is seems very fishy that they would require me to pay taxes up front before releasing money. I added a fact that I have been talking to Ross Malone(Account manager) there, and he has seemed so nice and caring, but after this last payment, he has gone silent and isn’t returning my emails. Now, granted he might be out or sick, but this is seemingly unusual. On speaking out my mind to contact@swiftrecoup com. They advised me not to send any money to them and guided me to a swift recovery of my invested funds I have with them.
    Glen48
    26th Jul 2019
    1:32pm
    Sorry to hear about your loss but you are not alone there is not much you can do but try IFW ask for Ken Gamble an ex cop.

    Good luck
    ozirules
    26th Jul 2019
    2:41pm
    so why, if no one is rewarding the completion of a survey with expensive electronic goods are you promoting such a survey. Do you read your own articles or just pluck them from some emergency pile of pre written page fillers when you run out of something interesting to say. Are you just lazy or do you have double standards .