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Who will I be today?
Is he Sam, John or Fred?
Identity theft is growing rapidly all over the world! And it just doesn’t happen when you travel overseas. It is in our own back yard!
Identity theft involves pretending to be someone else in order to access their bank accounts, use their credit cards, apply for licences and passports in their name or even take out loans in the victim's name.
In SYDNEY, December 2015 four men were charged with identity theft offences. Piles of medicare cards, drivers licences and credit cards were seized, evidence of the increasing sophistication of identity theft, Australia’s most common crime! In the USA "new account fraud" losses in 2015 increased from $2 billion to $3 billion. This means criminals are getting smarter, and not just using your data to do a retail transaction, but rather to create credit cards, etc. in your name and pretend to be you.
According to ABC News in April 2014, more than 770,000 Australians were victims of identity theft in the past year. A survey conducted by VEDA shows one in five Australians have had their personal information stolen at some point. In October 2015 Veda published a study showing identity theft to have risen 59% in the past two years.
There are many ways thieves can steal your identity. These include:
- accessing personal information from mail in your mailbox
- car and house theft
- spyware or malware on your computer
- reading your personal details on your credit card, passport, licence through RFID applications
- scamming your data through ATMs
Our aim is to educate about identity theft and provide products which can reduce identity theft.
Ways to prevent identity theft include:
- get your bank statements and invoices sent online rather than by mail or use a secure mailbox
- use an RFID blocking wallet to protect your valuable credit cards, passports, licences so that no thief with RFID application on their phone can access your identity
- Dont put too many personal details online, such as your birthdate
- update anti-virus software regularly
- update passwords regularly
- dont use family names or pets as passwords
- check your credit cards regularly
- protect your password when entering into an ATM - cover your hand over the keypad
- check the ATM for any foreign objects, such as a loose fitting near the credit card entry slot
Be vigilant. Your identity is important!