My ID has been stolen

My ID has been stolen! What do I do?

Last updated: 09 June 2022

My ID has been stolen! What do I do? 

Despite your best efforts to be vigilant, identity theft can still happen. Whether it’s through a phishing email, telephone impersonator or a lost wallet, savvy thieves can hijack your information through a variety of scams or incidents. Here’s what to do if it happens to you.

Report identity theft to the police, your bank and other organisations 

Speak to your local police about the crime or report identity fraud online through ReportCyber and make a note of your reference number. Check this IDCare factsheet for help understanding who to contact. 

Inform your financial institution of the crime and cancel all of your cards and bank accounts that might be at risk. Many banks offer in-app or online services to do this promptly. If you have lost physical documents like your birth certificate or driver’s licence, contact the government organisation in your state that issued the documents.    

Protect your credit report from fraud 

If you suspect or know your identity has been stolen, fraudulent new credit could be taken out in your name. Enforcing a credit report ban blocks credit checks, helping to prevent thieves from requesting new lines of credit.    

Credit Savvy members can do this in a few taps with SavvyShield via the Credit Savvy App. SavvyShield simplifies the manual process of requesting that a ban is placed on your credit report. When you turn on SavvyShield, Experian are alerted to place a ban on your credit report for 21 days. You’re also alerted to any attempted credit checks made in your name during a ban.

Even during times when your identity hasn’t been compromised, regularly checking your credit report (and bank statements) is a good habit to get into. You’ll be more familiar with the information listed and will be more quickly able to spot and act upon anything unusual.

Cancel breached accounts and change passwords 

So much of our identity is online: social media accounts, shopping websites and investing platforms are just the tip of the iceberg.  

Shut all accounts that have been compromised or are at risk of fraudulent activity. If your accounts have already been hacked, contact the customer service team of the organisation for help. You can usually find these details in the footer of a website or under a ‘Help’ section. 

It’s also a reminder to change your passwords into comprehensive passphrases or set up multi-factor authentication where available. This gives your accounts an extra layer of protection, helping defend them from identity thieves. 

Enlist help from the experts 

Losing your ID can be overwhelming and you might not be sure who to turn to for advice. There are plenty of Australian identity theft support services available.  

  • Contact IDCare for free guidance and a response plan to deal with the aftermath of identity theft. 
  • Find out if you’re eligible for a Commonwealth Victim’s Certificate and how to apply for one. 
  • Refer to this Scamwatch checklist to ensure you’re reporting identity crimes and scams to the right people. 
  • Learn more about how to keep your credit file safe with Credit Savvy.