Caring for ID fraud victims

The
Department of Human Services has just announced a three-year arrangement with
IDCARE to help victims of scams and identity theft.

Many
people think they will never be scammed or have their identity stolen, but the
reality is everyone is a potential victim.

The
Department of Human Services helps victims of scams and identity theft by
providing advice and support to customers about scams that impersonate services
such as Centrelink, Medicare and myGov.

The
department has just announced a three-year arrangement with IDCARE to support
these customers even more.

IDCARE
is a not-for-profit organisation that offers specialist support for people who
may have fallen victim to scams or identity theft.

Department
of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says the department is pleased to
extend the arrangement with IDCARE, which has been in place since October 2015.

“Last
year we took over 8,900 calls on our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk from
customers at risk of scams or identity theft,” Mr Jongen said.

“Of those calls, we referred over 2,000 customers to IDCARE.”

When
someone is referred to IDCARE they get a Case Manager who is a specialist
Identity and Cyber Security Counsellor.

The Case
Manager will help people explore what happened, identify the risks, and what
action they need to take.

“It can
be quite daunting if you’ve been scammed or had your identity stolen,” Mr
Jongen said.

IDCARE’s
service is about sharing knowledge and building a person’s confidence and
resilience.

They
also gather information and intelligence reports on cyber-criminal activities
that may impact the department.

“We work
closely with IDCARE to get intelligence on suspicious activities so our staff
and customers can stay ahead of scammers,” Mr Jongen said.

“We want
to work with the best people to protect Australians from fraud, and IDCARE is
the only organisation within Australia that provides comprehensive cyber and
scam related services to the Australian community.

“This
partnership with IDCARE ensures customers who are scammed or have their
identity compromised will continue to be supported.”

The
department proactively educates the Australian community on scam activity, to
prevent or reduce the impact of scams.

“If
someone asks you for your personal information or copies of your identity
documents, you should be cautious,” Mr Jongen said.

“It’s OK
to ask them why they need that information.

“Your
identity is an important asset to value and protect.”

If
someone thinks they’ve fallen victim to a departmental scam, or they’ve had
their Medicare card lost or stolen, they can call the department’s Scams and
Identity Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126.

They can
also email [email protected]

More information

  • There’s
    more information on scams and identity theft here
  • There’s
    more information on IDCARE here

Media contact: DHS Media Team on 1800 531 991