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What if it happens to you?

How do you know if your identity has been stolen?

If your identity has been stolen you may only find out later when you discover a credit card bill is outstanding or when you’re denied credit because of a default on your credit file. Signs to look out for include:

  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
  • Funds being transferred out of your accounts that you did not authorise
  • Being denied credit or being offered less favourable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.
  • Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.

If you think your identity has been stolen there are steps you can take to limit the damage and prevent further crimes being committed. These fact sheets can help.

Fact sheets What it tells you
Immediate steps

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Outlines the various steps you need to take if your identity has been stolen. Because it’s essential that you act quickly once this has happened, use these steps as a checklist of what you need to do.
Resolving specific problems

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Learn how to respond to specific problems, such as someone writing fraudulent cheques in your name or if a debt collector contacts you.
If your wallet or handbag is stolen

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In the event that your wallet is lost or stolen, we’ve provided a checklist for you to use as a record of all the items that you usually carry in your wallet and the emergency contact details of the issuing company.
Keeping records

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It’s important you keep good records of any dealings you have with the police and other organisations. Find out how to stay organised.

How to get a copy of a fact sheet

You can either:

  • Download a PDF or Word version of the fact sheets, especially designed for easy printing;
  • Read it online using the links above
  • If you would like to obtain a free copy of the printed fact sheet please contact the ABA:
    • E-mail: send your e-mail to (don’t forget to include your full name and mailing address)
    • Telephone: 1800 009 180 (freecall)
    • Post: write to us at Australian Bankers’ Association, Level 3, 56 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

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This website gives information of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by readers as advice in any particular matter. We suggest that you consult your financial planner on how this information may apply to your own circumstances.