Can Centrelink scan your bankcard?

Ellie is concerned about the security of her credit card after it was copied by Centrelink.

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Q. Ellie
My husband and I were interviewed randomly by Centrelink. At the end of the interview we were asked for our bank cards, which were placed on a photocopier and copied.

My husband asked where the printed copies would end up and was told that they would be shredded.

As we had been requested to take bank statements and so on to the meeting, I was concerned that our bank cards were being photocopied. Our signatures and full names were on these cards. Obviously, now all our details are on their computers.

I was also under the impression that our cards were our own private property and no one was allowed to copy them. Can you tell me, please, why they would copy these cards and what advantage will it provide? Was it legal for Centrelink to do this?

A. The department conducts review activities from time to time to ensure the right payments are going to the correct recipient.

As a requirement of a review, the department may request documents to verify a person’s identity or financial investments.

The department uses a list of approved identity documents, and this includes current ATM, debit or credit cards showing the cardholder’s name and signature. Bank statements may also be requested to verify investments.

Documents provided as part of the review are scanned to the person’s own Centrelink record, and people can be assured that photocopies obtained during an interview are securely destroyed once the review has been completed.

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Written by Janelle Ward

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