• Identity theft – how we can help

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

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

    You can contact the Client Identity Support Centre by:

    • phone on 1800 467 033 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday)
    • email.

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

    If we believe you may be a victim of identity fraud or your TFN 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 scam, phone us on 1800 008 540 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday).

    If you think your other personal information has been compromised, phone iDcare on 1300 432 273 (Monday–Friday, 8.00am–5.00pm). iDcare is a free national identity and cyber community support service for individuals.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    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, an ATO notice of assessment.

    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 those 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 a personal interview.

    If you have trouble attending a personal interview, we can talk about alternative arrangements. It may be that you are in a remote area or in custody, or have limited mobility or illness.

    We will then need to confirm the authenticity of your identification documents. Note that this can take weeks.

    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)
    • ABNs applied for and used
    • 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.

    How we respond to identity theft

    If someone else is using your TFN

    The person using your TFN may have other personal information about you. For this reason, we may ask you a range of questions to establish your identity.

    The next steps we'll take are to:

    • re-establish your tax file
    • confirm the data on your account.

    Once we've determined which activity 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.

    Accidental 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.

    Last modified: 05 Oct 2016QC 23540