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Avoid Identity Theft

Hume Bank

Hume is aware of identity thieves attempting to obtain personal information to access bank details.

It is important to note identity crime is not new, however, evolving technology provides additional opportunities for identity thieves to exploit. Electronic data storage and the increasing capacity of information and communications systems means that data is able to be moved around, accessed and used more quickly. 

These technologies provide improved opportunities for transferring personal and financial data. Storing and exchanging this information through computers and mobile devices has allowed criminals to increase their crime rates and the number of victims.


What it involves

Hacking - Accessing financial and other institutions’ websites to obtain e-banking details of customers or using key logger programs to target online chatrooms and instant messaging systems to obtain personal information.

Phishing - Sending an email to a user, falsely claiming to be from an established legitimate business in order to trick them into revealing private information such as bank details.
SMiSHing - Phishing via Short Message Service (SMS).
Card Skimming - Copying information from the magnetic strip on credit cards as purchases are made or attaching a device at an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) that copies data from cards, observing Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) through hidden cameras as you enter them.
Stealing a wallet or purse - To gain access to identity documents such as drivers licences, bank cards and membership cards.
Sifting through rubbish - looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information, gas and electricity bills with personal information or dumped or resold computers that may have files and data with personal information.
Mail Forwarding - Filling out a change of address form to redirect someone else’s mail to them.
Mail Theft - Stealing mail from an unsecured letterbox.

Unsolicited Contact - Calling and claiming to be from a bank, service provider (such as a software company) or government agency and asking people to update personal information, posing as market researchers or calling them about a fictitious problem (such as problems with their computer).

Corporate Identity Theft - Accessing publicly available company records and changing names of company principals and registered addresses before trading off the back of the real company’s name and getting goods and services on credit from suppliers, lodging tax returns and getting tax refunds, or even taking money from company bank accounts.

Impersonating a deceased person - Noting the age, date of birth and address of deceased people from death or funeral announcements and using those identities to commit crimes

Shoulder surfing - Observing people at ATMs while they are keying in their PINs or listening in while a person provides credit card numbers to a person at the other end of their mobile phone.

Scams - Such as lottery scams which advise people that they have won a lottery they have not entered, then asking them to provide personal information to prove their identity or send a fee or bank account details to collect the prize. Similar scams include ‘overseas job offer scams’ where a person is offered an overseas job and they are required to provide identity documents to process visas.

Cyber-crime and identity theft - Online criminals can harvest information from social networking sites such as Facebook, blogs, online gaming and online dating to assume a person’s identity. They then use this identity to fraudulently obtain money and goods.


Tips to reduce the risk of identity theft

  • Secure your letterbox as thieves can use the personal details in your mail.
  • Notify us immediately of any change to your address or contact details.
  • Destroy or shred any documents containing personal information before throwing them out.
  • Be careful in your online interactions like shopping online and using social media sites, as these can make a big difference to how vulnerable you are to identity crime.
  • Opening the email or link can allow "malware" to be left on your computer putting you at risk of having personal information collected sent back to the criminal's server.


Warning Signs

  • You receive an email, text or a phone call out of the blue asking you to ‘validate’ or ‘confirm’ your personal details by clicking on a link or opening an attachment. The message can sometimes contain grammatical errors and is poorly written.
  • There are unexpected pop-ups on your computer or mobile device asking if you want to allow software to run.
  • You receive a friend request from someone you don’t know on social media.
  • You are unable to log into your social media or email account, or your profile has been logged into from an unusual location.
  • You notice that amounts of money go missing from your bank account without any explanation or an application for a loan or credit card has been declined.


Tips to avoid Scams and Hoaxes

  • Banks should never ask for security details online, so ignore any emails purporting to be from a bank asking you to enter them.
  • Ensure your computer has the latest security software and operating system updates.
  • Be cautious when using computers in internet cafes, hotels and airport lounges, refer to online security tips.
  • Type the full web link (such as into your browser when you plan to use internet Banking.
  • Contact us if something looks suspicious.