Identity theft: what if it happens to you?


It’s a nightmare that no one wants to have to deal with but what if your identity is stolen? This is what you will need to do:

  1. Call the police
    The first thing to do if you discover you have become a victim of identity theft is to report it as soon as you become aware of it. Contact your local police and get the ball rolling. Make sure you keep a copy of the police report for your records.
  2. Call your bank
    Cancel any cards and close any accounts that may be affected and let them know what has happened. You may need to start a dispute process on any fraudulent transactions.
  3. Inform the credit reporting agencies
    Contact a credit reporting agency (for Australia find one here and for NZ here) and inform them of your situation. Ask for an alert to be placed on your file to stop any more fraudulent accounts being opened.
  4. Get a copy of your credit report
    Review it very carefully. Call any companies about any purchases or enquiries that you have not made yourself.
  5. Report any fraudulent accounts
    Contact the relevant company and have them closed. This could be a bank but it may also be utility suppliers or retailers.
  6. Keep your evidence
    Document each step you take, who you spoke to and follow up any verbal requests in writing.
  7. Report missing documents
    Report loss or theft of any documents that may be missing such as your driver’s license, passport or any bankcards.