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  • Your identity security – get help

    If you know or suspect that someone has stolen your tax file number (TFN) or is using your tax-related information illegally, phone the ATO as soon as you can.

    If you're ever unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, don’t reply. Instead, phone us on 1800 008 540 or visit ato.gov.au/scams.

    Depending on the circumstances, there are other actions you can take if you suspect identity theft.

    Identity theft – how to get help

    Situation

    What you should do

    If you think someone has stolen or misused your TFN, your Australian business number (ABN) or other tax-related information

    Phone us on 1800 467 033, between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    If you think someone accessed your myGov account, including your linked ATO services, without your permission

    Phone us on 13 28 61, between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    If you think someone has inappropriately accessed your personal information in myGovID

    Report this immediately – phone us on 1300 287 539 (select option 2) between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday.

    If you think someone has inappropriately accessed your business information in Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM)

    Report this immediately – phone us on 1300 287 539 (select option 3) between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday.

    You can report cybercrime to the Australian Cyber Security CentreExternal Link via the Cyber Issue Reporting SystemExternal Link. You must report all tax-related security issues to us.

    You can also report identity theft and fraud to your state or territory police.

    Help to re-establish your identity

    If you think someone has stolen or misused your identity, contact our Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 (between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday–Friday) to help you establish your tax identity.

    When you phone us, we'll discuss the identification documents you'll need to provide.

    If you think your other personal information was compromised, we recommend you contact IDCAREExternal Link on 1300 432 273 (between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday). IDCARE provides free advice and confidential support to victims of identity theft.

    If you hold taxpayer information

    If you hold tax or superannuation data (including TFNs) for clients or employees and you are aware of (or suspect) the security of this information has been breached, phone us on 1800 467 033 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    See also:

    Protect your identity

    The ATO allocates you a TFN which is exclusive to you. You can use your TFN and other personal information to lodge tax returns and other tax forms.

    To protect your identity:

    • Only give your TFN to organisations or people who have a legitimate need for it, such as your tax agent, current employer or bank.
    • Destroy or delete your TFN from documents before throwing them away.
    • Don't share your online passwords with others and never reply to emails with your TFN, password or other sensitive information.

    How we respond to identity theft

    The way we respond to identity theft depends on the situation.

    Someone else is using your TFN

    If someone else is using your TFN, we'll determine which activity on your tax file is yours and then correct the details in your account.

    For more complex tax affairs it may take longer for us to confirm and correct your details.

    Someone else knows your TFN but hasn't used it

    If someone else knows your TFN but hasn’t used it yet, you still need to tell us. If the person who has your TFN could have other personal information about you, we need to 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.

    Someone you know has used your TFN

    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 may contact you to confirm the details before processing commences.

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

    See also:

    Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra. 

    Last modified: 16 Apr 2020QC 49587