Responding to suspected identity theft

We know that situations like this may feel scary or overwhelming.

We’ve provided some helpful information on identity theft and the steps  you can take to protect yourself. 
 

What is identity theft?  

Sometimes referred to as identity crime or fraud, identity theft happens when an individual uses your personal information to gain a benefit without consent. When criminals have enough personal information (e.g. your name, address, date of birth or bank account details) they can use this information to steal from you. 

How can they use my information?  

  • Open new accounts, build debts in your name, which can ruin your credit rating and   
    leave you with the bill.  

  • Trick financial institutions into giving access to your accounts.  

  • Change your contact information (e.g. mailing or email address) to prevent you from receiving statements, reducing the risk of you finding out your identity has been stolen.  

  • Open a phone, internet or other service account in your name and use it to trade illegal online content.  

  • Claim government benefits in your name.  

  • Lodge fraudulent claims for tax refunds in your name.   

  • Use your name to plan or commit criminal activity.  

  • Pretend to be you on social media.  

Things we’re doing to keep your information safe  

We’ve provided some helpful information on identity theft and the steps 

Your account security is important to us, that’s why we have many strategies aimed at keeping your data safe.   
Here are some of the ways we protect your information:  

  • We undertake multi-factor authentication processes for our telecommunications customers. This includes verifying your account before information is accessed or changes are made. We also let you know when a transaction has occurred on your account.  

  • We train our staff in how to keep your information safe and secure.  

  • We encrypt data sent from your computer or device when you log into our websites or app so no-one else can access it.    

To find out more, visit www.agl.com.au/privacy-policy

Knowing the signs of identity theft

Type of scam What you can do
Scam phone calls: The most common way for criminals to get your personal information is to ask directly – by calling you and pretending to be from a legitimate business.  If a phone call sounds suspicious, hang up and don’t provide any personal information.  You can check if it was legitimate by calling the company’s publicly listed number. AGL will never call you and ask for this one-time code. We will only ever ask you for a one-time verification code if you have called us.
Computer viruses: Viruses and malware can be used to hack into your devices where criminals can try to access personal information.  Don’t open links in suspicious emails or visit sites your internet browser or computer says are unsafe. Remember to not leave scans of identity documents (e.g. drivers' licence) on your phone or computer. 
Email phishing: Scam emails are often used to source personal information.   If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you delete suspicious emails – don’t reply or open any links. 
Social media: Personal information can be easily collected through social media sites.   Change your social media channel settings from public to private. Use passwords that are difficult to guess or biometrics (e.g. Face ID) to make access to your accounts difficult. 

Taking back your identity.  

It’s important when it comes to suspected identity theft that you act quickly to avoid or minimise criminal use of your information.  Here’s what you can do next:

An easy way to increase protection on your account is to add a codeword. If you're an AGL telecommunications customer we can help you set this up, call us on 1300 307 731. 

If you are unsure of where to start, we recommend contacting ID Care – they are an independent organisation who can give you step-by-step advice. Visit https://www.idcare.org/  

Contact your financial institutions, they may be able to stop further unauthorised transactions.  You can also get a free copy of your credit file to check for unauthorised account applications and receive notifications of any new ones. Visit https://www.mycreditfile.com.au/     

Contact the businesses involved.  Tell them about the identity theft and ask for the unauthorised accounts to be closed.  

Submit a detailed report about your experience. Take note of the reference number you receive for your report once submitted. Visit https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report  

You can report cybercrime (including identity theft or fraud) to your local police. Request a copy of your report – you may need it to give to financial institutions or government organisations. This is instead of submitting a report via Australian Cyber Security Centre.  

Most social networking and online trading sites have advice on what to do if your account is compromised, or a fake one was set up in your name. Check all major sites and ask to have them closed.  

Identity theft often starts on your electronic devices, (e.g. computer, laptop, mobile) with computer malware. We strongly recommend you update and run computer security software. 

Change your passwords immediately if you think one of your online accounts has been compromised. You can also add extra security questions to your email and password protected accounts to help protect your personal information.   

Subscribe to ScamWatch to get notifications about current known scams. ScamWatch is run by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Visit  https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

 

.


Need support?

Call

Prefer to talk? We're here Monday – Friday 8am-6pm AEST/AEDT only, closed weekends.

Opening hours may differ on public holidays.

Call 131 245
Chat

Chat with us online. We’re here anytime.

More ways to get support

For interpreter services and services for hearing and impaired and overseas customers, visit Contact Us. Please note overseas customers are only able to message us or use chat for assistance.