Identity fraud is often a two-stage process where your personal details are stolen and then used for financial gain or other criminal activity. You might be left with debt, a poor credit rating or other legal implications as a result.
Personal information such as your name, address, date of birth or bank account details can be obtained by criminals in a number of ways including phishing, hacking and document theft.
This is when a criminal tricks you into handing over your personal information via email or phone.
By exploiting security weaknesses on your computer, mobile phone or network, criminals gain access to your information through social media sites or other websites you visit and share information on.
Document theft is when criminals access your private information through unlocked mailboxes or personal documents that you've thrown away like utility bills, insurance renewals or health records.
Credit or debit card fraud happens when criminals:
- copy the information stored on your card’s magnetic strip (known as skimming) to access your funds
- steal your card, or use your lost one, to make purchases or withdraw cash
- intercept your card in the post.
A dishonest retailer could also commit card fraud by making unauthorised transactions on your card.
Card fraud can happen just as easily overseas as in Australia, so stay vigilant wherever you are.
Cheque fraud is when someone:
- changes a cheque’s amount or payee details without authority
- steals a cheque and then alters it
- makes copies of a cheque
- uses false invoices to get cheques sent to them
- deposits a cheque into someone else’s account without authority
- pays by cheque knowing there are insufficient funds in the account.
Cheque fraud prevention
If you’re a business owner, find out more about protecting yourself from cheque fraud.
Find out more