Avoiding scams

The ATO is warning Australian taxpayers to be careful with their personal information. 

The crime of identity theft can create a number of issues for a victim, such as a poor credit rating, money stolen and bank accounts emptied, and serious crimes committed under their name, such as fraud. 

The ATO offers five strategies for protecting yourself from identity crimes: 

Understand what you need to protect

There are a number of personal details scammers can use to carry out an identity crime that the average person may not consider. Details such as your full name, date of birth, driver’s licence, 

passport details, etc., can all be used to steal your identity. 

Keep personal information safe and secure

Once personal information is captured by someone deceptive, in many cases it is impossible to get back. For instance, once someone knows your tax file number or address, you can’t take this knowledge back from them. If financial details are shared or stored online, they are there permanently. Carefully consider the safest place to store details like passwords and bank details to avoid fraud. 

Avoid oversharing

Professional identity thieves are just that, professionals. They are extremely savvy and can discover a great deal about a person from piecing together who they are based on what they share online, particularly on social media platforms. Something as innocent as sharing a photo of yourself in front of your house can provide a thief with enough information to find out where you live. 

Being vigilant when divulging personal information

Treat requests for personal information with caution. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a call from either a company, organisation or government agency, call their phone number directly to check if it is really them calling. 

Use legitimate channels to make payments

Many scammers will request payment methods such as pre-paid gift cards or for money to be sent to bank accounts. To avoid falling into these scams, don’t send money or provide personal, credit or banking details to anyone unless you made the call and are sure that the phone number is genuine. 

Cristy Houghton

Embarketing, 48 Johnston Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650

Cristy's unique career has taken her from country NSW to the city lights of Clarendon Street South Melbourne and back again. With an early career in radio as a copywriter and creative strategist, she is now a Jill of all trades as a graphic designer, website builder, blog writer, video editor, social media manager, marketing strategist and more. 

In fact, give her any task and this chick will figure out how to do it! Go on, we dare you!

No, really, we DARE you!!

Cristy has won two Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) for Best Ad and Best Sales Promotion, and even has an 'Employee of the Year' certificate with her name on it.

Cristy and her husband James have traveled extensively through Russia, China and South East Asia, and have two fur-babies, Sooty (cat) and Panda (puppy). Cristy loves drinking coffee, meeting people to drink coffee, coffee tasting and coffee flavoured cocktails. She also enjoys road trips, TED Talks and watching cat videos on youtube.