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Identity Fraud

Identity fraud can occur in many ways, from somebody using your credit card details illegally, to having your entire identity assumed by another person to open bank accounts, take out loans and conduct illegal business under your name.

How to protect yourself from identity theft

Signs of identity fraud

These can vary, but some typical signs that your identity is being used unlawfully are:

What can you do?

If you believe that you have had personal papers stolen, or have become a victim of identity theft, notify The Mutual as soon as possible. You should also advise any other financial institution that you bank with so they are aware of the situation.

Any instance of identity fraud should also be immediately reported to your local police.
It is also a good idea to advise close family and friends as identity theft rings will often target more than one member of a household.

Hoax emails

Financial institutions in Australia have been subject to various email scams that are designed to compromise the personal information of individuals in order to illegally obtain and transfer funds overseas.

There are generally two types of emails aimed at obtaining your personal information:

1. Phishing (pronounced fishing) emails

Phishing emails are designed to trick you into disclosing personal information such as account details, passwords or card numbers. Be suspicious of unexpected emails from a bank, credit union or building society asking you to supply information.

If you have accidentally given out personal information regarding your account details, please change your Access Code in Internet Banking immediately. If you are unsure how to do this or have any other queries, please contact our helpful staff and they will assist you.

Remember, The Mutual will never ask you to confirm your identity or supply your passwords via email.

If you receive an email claiming to be from The Mutual asking for account or personal information or directing you to log in to an external site, please contact our staff immediately.

2. Virus or trojan emails

These emails come from senders who are usually unknown to the receiver. They contain links or attachments that may download and install malicious software (malware) onto your computer.

If you click on a link in these emails, or open an attachment, the malware will try to install itself automatically on your computer, though this could be blocked if you have the appropriate software security updates installed on your computer. Some malware is even programmed to uninstall your anti-virus software prior to attempting to infect your machine.

If you have already actioned an email by clicking on the link, or you notice that your computer has become slower and you have other icons on your computer that you don't remember downloading, these are signs that your computer may have been infected by a virus or other malware.

In this case, have your computer professionally inspected and cleaned by a trained computer technician to remove any malware that may have been downloaded, and as a continued preventative measure, have them install the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

Scams

There are numerous scams that attempt to trick you into providing your personal information or giving up some of your hard earned money. The simple rule to remember is, if the offer seems too good to be true then it probably is.

For more information on scams go to www.scamwatch.gov.au

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us