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Strike back at Identity Theives

Mark Edwards

In the last few months, we have run several articles about identity theft. This is an issue of increasing importance. Just this week, Senator the Hon. Christopher Ellison launched a new information kit to help Australians strike back at identity thieves. The production of the kit, titled "How to prevent and respond to identity theft", has been funded by the Australian Government through the National Crime Prevention Program to lessen the emotional and financial devastation caused by identity theft.

According to the press release, the cost of identity theft is "estimated at $1.1 billion per year within Australia".

Some of the simple steps included in the kit to protect against identity theft included:

Destroying all identifying information when disposing of personal papers, including bank statements and utility

bills, such as phone, electricity and gas bills;

Not giving out personal information over the phone or by e-mail unless you have initiated the contact or are

confident the caller is who they claim to be;

Checking accounts and other records carefully and knowing when accounts are due as a late or missing account

could mean the billing address has been changed and your identity possibly stolen, and

Using a separate bank account with a low credit limit for internet transactions.

The identity theft information kit is available by calling 1800 708 777 or online at www.crimeprevention.gov.au

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