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  • Identity theft – how we can help

    Having your personal information and identity stolen or misused is distressing.

    Our Client Identity Support Centre can help if this happens to you.

    You can contact them by phone on 1800 467 033 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday).

    If you think your tax file number (TFN) has been stolen or misused you should contact us as soon as practicable. This will ensure that protective measures are placed on your file if required.

    If we believe you are a victim of identity fraud or that your TFN is being used by someone else, we may contact you by mail, SMS, or email. Depending on your situation, we may also ask you to phone us on 1300 146 094 or 1300 308 217.

    If you are the victim of a scam or think you have seen a tax related scam, phone us on 1800 008 540  (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday).

    If you think your other personal information has been compromised, we recommend you speak with IDCARE on 1300 432 273 (Monday–Friday, 8.00am–5.00pm). IDCARE provide free advice and confidential support to victims of identity theft.

    Find out about:

    Re-establishing your identity

    To re-establish your identity you will need to provide us with proof of your identity. This may include your TFN, date of birth, address, or bank account details.

    We may need information from identification documentation; for example, your birth certificate, current passport, or Medicare information.

    We may ask you for original or certified copies of your identification. If you have set up a secret question and answer with us, we may ask you for these details.

    When you phone us, we'll discuss the identification documents you'll need to provide. We may also make an appointment for you to come to an ATO shopfront for an interview.

    If you are unable to attend a personal interview, we can talk about alternative arrangements. It may be that you are in a remote area, or have limited mobility or an illness.

    We will then need to confirm the authenticity of your identification documents. This process can take some time.

    See also:

    Checking your tax records

    Once we've confirmed your personal details, we'll check your tax records by looking at:

    • TFN declarations
    • tax returns (income reported, bank accounts used, tax agents involved and other details)
    • ABN information
    • employer super guarantee payments made.

    We may ask you to confirm the information on file to determine which activity is yours, and which is not.

    The length of the investigation will vary depending on:

    • how much information is in your record
    • whether another person has used your TFN
    • how easy it is to confirm authenticity of the information provided.

    How we respond to identity theft

    If someone else is using your TFN

    Once we've determined which activity on your tax file is yours, we'll correct the details in your account. For more complex tax affairs it may take longer for us to confirm and correct your details.

    If someone else knows your TFN but hasn't used it

    You need to tell us if the person who may have your TFN could have other personal information about you. This is so we can determine the level of risk to your account.

    If we determine your account to be at risk, we will check for any unusual or suspicious activity.

    Use by someone known to you

    If someone known to you uses your TFN, the action taken will depend on the circumstances.

    After re-establishing your identity, we will review your situation and the level of risk. We will then discuss any further action taken.

    Monitoring your tax file

    We can help protect your account by monitoring your records before any automatic processing of your tax returns.

    If a tax return has suspicious activity, we'll contact you to confirm the details before processing commences.

    The security measures we apply will remain on your file until we determine there is no further risk.

    See also:

    Last modified: 24 Jul 2018QC 23540