In the past year, three-quarters of the majority of Australians were victims of Centrelink identity theft. These happenings cost each victim a sum of $4,000. Scammers pretend to be bank employees, government staff members or claim to represent Centrelink. In other situations, the personal information that can be easily found online usually triggers cyber crime.
In the recent past, Medicare and Centrelink, in particular, have received a myriad of reports stating that there is a wide range of scammers that claim to be employees of these two institutions and ask people for personal information. These scammers provided cash and special prizes to their victims, thus, attracting their attention. Afterwards, these scammers proceeded to ask more personal questions, which were rather inappropriate as well.
Every Australian should bear in mind that governmental institutions such as Centrelink or banks don’t necessarily make contact by phone to ask a wide range of personal inquiries.
At the same time, there is also the unsettling danger of illegally obtaining personal information regarding one’s identity, which counts as cybercrime or online theft. A study developed by Veda indicates that one in five Australians has personal information stolen at some point. The criminals use a wide range of updated technology that monitors social media information of a particular individual, and after recreating an identity, they use it for criminal purposes, such as making loans, purchases and so on and so forth.
How can you protect yourself from becoming the victim of identity theft?
It is utterly important to prevent Centrelink identity theft, at first, by considering sharing as little information about your personal life as possible on your social media profile. Additionally, avoid providing personal information on the phone to any stranger that claims to be an employee of an official governmental organization. You should also consider destroying personal documents holding important information concerning your bank account or other facts.
Additionally, be extremely careful when you are transferring money. Don’t transfer money unless you are certain that that particular website is perfectly safe.
Review your bank statements on a regular basis, to notice any change or alteration that may indicate that a criminal has accessed your account. Report any unauthorized transactions.
What can be done concerning Centrelink identity theft crisis?
The Australian Federal Police (AFP), in association with other governmental departments, carries out a wide range of activity concerning this unsettling national issue. The New South Wales Police Identity Security Strike Team (ISST), which is located in Sydney, bases its attention on investigating severe cases of Centrelink identity theft cases. Additionally, they focus on establishing an effective collaboration between governmental facilities, so as to deal with this type of crime much more effectively. Centrelink identity theft is a troubling problem at the moment in Australia, and you should consider taking the necessary precautionary measures to protect yourself from being the next victim.