At Westpac, we’re vigilant about safeguarding your financial and personal information. Help protects you, your family and your business against identity theft. Check out these useful tips on how you can protect your privacy and stay safe online.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits. It can take many forms, from fraudulent credit card use, to your entire identity being stolen and used to open accounts, obtain loans, and conduct other illegal activities.
Fraudsters use a range of techniques, including phishing, malicious software or social engineering to manipulate you into giving them personal or sensitive information or send emails posing as you. Social engineering refers to criminals impersonating a reputable business or identity, to manipulate you into giving them personal or sensitive information or send emails posing as you.
They gather useful information about you from the internet, particularly social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or via phishing emails which may contain malicious software. They also obtain information from business publications like Annual Reports, and even from documents thrown in the rubbish.
They then use this information to establish trust with you; making contact via phone, email, instant message, or even in person; engaging you by asking questions that entice or trick you into providing sensitive financial or personal information
That’s why it’s important for you to be able to identify social engineering attempts, ensuring you are safe from identity theft, system attacks, or theft of confidential information for financial gain.
Want to learn more about identity theft? Check out Scamwatch
Here are some simple strategies to help protect your identity:
- Protect your privacy on social media. Update your privacy and security settings on all social media apps, keeping them set to ‘Private’. Limit the amount of personal information you share online.
- Ensure your mailbox is locked and check it for signs of tampering. If you notice any tampering call us on 132 032 (24 hours, 7 days a week) to add additional security measures to protect your accounts.
- If you'll be away from home for an extended period, arrange for mail to be held at your local post office or have a friend/relative collect it.
- Safely dispose of personal and financial information such as account statements, bills and receipts, by tearing or shredding them before throwing them away.
- Sign up to electronic statements, which can be viewed and downloaded when banking online. eStatements are also good for the environment.
- Check you've received all expected bills and statements as a missing statement could mean a thief has removed it from your mailbox.
- Register for Westpac Protect™ SMS code and receive SMS alerts to your mobile to authorise certain Online Banking transactions and features.
- If you are moving house update your details straight away. Call us on 132 032 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
- Do we have your mobile or telephone number? Knowing your current contact details will enable us to contact you quickly if suspicious activity is detected.
- Set up a special keyword - this works as like an extra layer of security used during Telephone Banking that makes it harder for a fraudster to assume your identity. Just call 132 032 anytime to activate.