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What is an Identity theft?

Identity theft is when someone gets enough of your personal information to steal your identity for personal or financial gain.
 

Lost personal information also leaves you more susceptible to future scams or fraud, as stolen personal information is often sold illegally.


What they're after

With enough information scammers may be able to access your bank accounts, apply for loans in your name, take out phone plans or other contracts, buy goods in your name, access other private or sensitive information or even impersonate you to trick your family or friends.

What could a scammer do with your personal information?

 

  • Access and empty your bank accounts
  • Open new bank accounts in your name and apply for loans or lines of credit
  • Take out phone plans and other contracts
  • Purchase expensive goods in your name
  • Steal your superannuation
  • Get access to your government online services
  • Access your email to find more sensitive information
  • Access your social media accounts and impersonate you to scam your family and friends

Signs this may be a scam

You are asked for your personal information.

Do not give it to them. Ask for a reference number, then contact the business yourself on a trusted number to verify the call was genuine.

You receive an email or SMS asking you to click on a link.

Do not click on the link. Sign into your account by typing the address into the browser yourself. E.g. type in  https://www.westpac.com.au/

You receive a notification about a new banking, lending or financial service in your name.

Contact the lender or service provider immediately. Check your credit report using a reputable credit reference bureau.

Your mailbox has been broken into or you notice mail missing.

Put a lock on your mailbox. Change to electronic statements. Shred any sensitive documents you no longer need.

Important:

Financial institutions, government agencies and most organisations will never contact you requesting access to your device, share your passwords, security codes, PIN’s or other personal information via a pop up or a phone call. Never share these with anyone, regardless of the claims being made. Always call organisations back on trusted numbers found on their website or phone directory to validate any of these types of requests.

Who should I contact and examples of scams

  • Please report scams or suspicious activity immediately to Westpac at 132 032 or 61 2 9155 7700 (if calling from overseas).
  • Forward suspicious emails to  hoax@westpac.com.au or sms/text messages to 0497 132 032 then delete the email or message.
  • Report all suspicious activity to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au/report.
  • Contact IDCARE toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit their website idcare.org. They provide free, confidential support and guidance to people who have been targeted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise.
  • Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from scamwatch.gov.au/subscribe.
  • Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at westpac.com.au/scams.

Latest Scams

To stay in the loop, and stay protected, check out our list of the latest phishing scams impersonating Westpac.
 

Report a scam

If you receive any suspicious calls, emails or SMS messages, or notice unusual activity on your account, it’s important that you let us know.
 

Security Wellbeing Check

To help keep you up to date with the latest security features, we’ve introduced the Security Wellbeing Check. Found in the Westpac App, it checks your Westpac settings and suggests how you can improve the security of your banking facilities.

Things you should know

* Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.