What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when a person unlocks someone else's identity to gain money, goods, services and other benefits, or to avoid legal obligations by using that false identity.

Fraudsters can use everyday documents to create your identity. So keep things like your birth certificate, passport, driver licence and bills safe by following a few simple rules.


  • Shred or tear documents containing personal information before throwing them in the rubbish.
  • Secure or lock your mailbox.
  • Install and keep antivirus, spyware and firewall software up-to-date - and know when it isn't working.


  • Don't leave personal documents lying about the home or in the car. Store them safely, in a locked drawer, at all times.
  • Don't carry identification documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, unless you need them that day.
  • Don't hand over personal documentation or information unless the reason is clear to you.

Report identity-related crime to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.