26 September 2023

Scam warning follows Optus breach

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) is warning customers to protect their accounts and watch out for scams following the recent Optus data breach.

The Commission’s Scamwatch has issued a warning saying it was important for past and present Optus customers to be aware that they may be at risk of identity theft and should take urgent action to prevent harm.

“A cyber-attack has resulted in the release of Optus customers’ personal information,” Scamwatch said.

“If you are an Optus customer your name, date of birth, phone number, email addresses may have been released,” it said.

“For some customers, identity document numbers such as driver’s licence or passport numbers could be in the hands of criminals.”

Scamwatch advised Optus customers to take immediate steps to secure all of their accounts, particularly their bank and financial accounts.

It said customers should also monitor for unusual activity on their accounts and watch out for contact by scammers.

Scamwatch said some of the steps people could take to protect their personal information included securing devices and monitoring for unusual activity; changing online account passwords and enabling multi factor authentication for banking; checking accounts for unusual activity; and placing limits on accounts or asking their bank how they could secure their money.

It said people who suspected fraud could request a ban on their credit report.

“If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised or you have been a victim of a scam contact your bank immediately and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160,” Scamwatch said.

“IDCARE is Australia’s national identity and cyber support service, to get expert advice from a specialist identity and cyber security service.”

Further information on how people can protect themselves can be accessed on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s website at this PS News link.

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