What is Identity Theft?

Stealing of your personal information and identity for criminal purposes

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Our world is changing rapidly as our dependency on technology increases – we store personal information online, share personal data with third-party companies and reveal more about ourselves through social media which endangers our privacy.

The threat is real

Every 20 seconds someone in Australia is a victim of identity theft**, with devastating financial and emotional consequences. Criminals will use any and every means to steal your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth and driver’s licence number, and they are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Identity theft is largely an invisible crime. It is the crime of obtaining your personal information to create fake identity documents in your name, open a new bank account, apply for a loan or carry out other criminal activities.

According to the Australian Federal Police, it is one of the most common and fastest growing crimes in Australia. It is estimated as many as 1 in 5* Australians fall victim to some form of identity theft every year.

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Criminals have devised a multitude of ways to obtain your personal information: phishing, malware, ransomware, fraud and hacking are common methods. However, identity theft can also happen through more traditional means such as stealing your wallet, purse or handbag. Your personal data is also stored with large companies and data breaches mean your information is vulnerable. Poor internet security, weak passwords and Single Sign On passwords cause a privacy threat.

They are not just after your credit card details; passport information, Medicare data and other sensitive information can be used in illegal activities – without you being aware of it happening.

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The consequences of identity theft are far-reaching and can take months, even years, to resolve. Your credit rating may be affected, making it difficult to apply for a credit card or a loan. Many victims suffer financial losses, but it is the emotional toll that is the most challenging to deal with.

The violation of your privacy leaves you feeling vulnerable, unprotected and fearful. Embarrassment and shame are common as you ask yourself if you could’ve done something to stop it from happening. Many victims experience feelings of powerlessness and helplessness, mainly because the perpetrator often remains unknown.

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idSafe helps protect your identity and privacy to give you peace of mind Protect me now