Your personal information is an important part of your identity. You need to keep it safe.
To commit identity crime, thieves only need some basic details such as your name, date of birth, address, myGov details or tax file number (TFN).
They can use this information to:
- access your bank account and buy things using your credit card
- access your myGov account to steal your tax refund
- steal your superannuation
- make fraudulent self-managed super fund (SMSF) registrations
- apply for a government benefit
- sell your house
- commit refund fraud in your name
- take over your business and submit adjustments for business activity statements (BAS) that you have lodged before
- sell your identity to organised crime groups on the dark web or via other means.
If identity thieves steal your identity, it can take a long time to fix. It may be difficult for you to:
- get a job or loan
- rent a house
- apply for government services or benefits.
If you suspect your personal information, such as your TFN, has been stolen, misused or compromised, phone us as soon as possible on 1800 467 033 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday. We will investigate and can place extra protection on your ATO account.
Watch our video Be aware of what you share to see how to identify an illegitimate request for information.
Media: Be aware of what you share
https://tv.ato.gov.au/ato-tv/media?v=bd1bdiub15jkggExternal Link (Duration: 1:00)
Our approach to identity crime
We use intelligent systems to automatically detect tax returns suspected of being fraudulently lodged using another person's identity. These systems help us stop incorrect, invalid or fraudulent refunds before they are paid.
Our Client Identity Support Centre supports taxpayers who had their identities stolen, misused or compromised. We provide information, advice and assistance to help taxpayers re-establish their identities.
We are also a partner agency in a whole-of-government approach to reducing identity crime. The National Identity Security Strategy, supported by the Attorney-General's Department, works to combat the misuse of stolen or assumed identities.
Find out about:
- Help for identity theft
- Online security
- Lost or stolen TFN
- IDCAREExternal Link
- Australian Cyber Security CentreExternal Link