Australia: What to do if you have had your digital identity stolen

Cristina POPOV

September 21, 2023

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Australia: What to do if you have had your digital identity stolen

Your digital identity is your online persona, represented by your personal data that exists in the digital realm: online accounts, social media platforms, and email accounts. Unfortunately, data breaches that hit the organizations behind the apps and websites you use may reveal just enough of it for criminals to pretend to be you.

One of the first signs that your digital identity may have been compromised is noticing unfamiliar transactions on your bank or credit card statements. You might also receive

bills for purchases you didn't make. Another red flag is being unexpectedly locked out of your accounts due to changed passwords, or receiving emails about password changes that you did not initiate.

If you live in Australia and suspect your digital identity may be in danger, here's what to do. Act from the first suspicion something is not right. The sooner you take action, the more chances you have to minimize the severe consequences.

  • Alert authorities immediately: If you believe your digital details have been unlawfully accessed, promptly notify ReportCyber. Keep a copy of the police report—banks and other entities often require it.
  • Contact your bank or financial institution - Reach out to your banks or credit providers to notify them of the breach. Request any unauthorized accounts opened in your name to be terminated. They might suggest creating new accounts or PINs for enhanced safety.
  • Notify Relevant Agencies: If essential documents like your passport, driver's license, Medicare card, or tax file number are compromised, promptly inform the respective governmental body. Similarly, if investment papers or financial documents are stolen, get in touch with your financial advisor, stockbroker, or fund manager.
  • Review Your Credit Status: Inform credit reporting agencies about potential identity theft to have it flagged in your records. Inspect your credit report to track recent credit checks and inform these companies against approving new accounts under your name. Some agencies to consider for obtaining your credit report include:

1. (Equifax)

2. (Dun and Bradstreet)

3. Tasmanian Collection Service

  • Seek Assistance from iDcare: iDcare offers a complimentary service, backed by the government and industry, providing tailored strategies to mitigate risks and repercussions of identity theft.

(Source: WA ScamNet by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety).

How Digital Identity Protection helps you prevent future digital identity theft

Digital Identity Protection alerts you immediately when your data is exposed in a breach. It scans millions of websites and monitors the underground networks to check if your information is leaked on the Dark Web. When it finds anything that puts your personal data & identity at risk, it gives you simple, specific, 1-click action items to instantly close up leaks and weak points in your digital footprint. Thus, you can take action well before disaster strikes again.

You may also find useful to find out your Identity Protection Score.  This is a feature of the Digital Identity Protection service, a number calculated based on analysis of your data breach exposure, including the number of data breaches you're linked to and the type of information compromised. The higher the score, the lower your risks of new data breaches and attacks on your identity.

Read more about our identity protection and privacy solutions here.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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