Identity Fraud

Having your identity stolen can be an extremely distressing and financially damaging experience.

Here are a list of steps to take if you suspect your identity has been stolen

  1. If your drivers licence has been stolen, contact and alert the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
  2. If your passport has been stolen, contact and alert Internal Affairs.
  3. File a 105 police report. The police report should highlight what happened, and to the best of your knowledge, who committed the fraud.
  4. In all cases if you think someone has or is using your details, contact all local NZ credit agencies (Centrix, Equifax and Illion) to put a freeze on your profile. This is to mitigate any use of your credit information if an unauthorised person applies for credit using your personal details.

Has something else been stolen?

Check out the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website for a full list of what you need to do for lost and stolen personal documents.

Don’t let yourself become an easy target. By taking proactive steps to safeguard your personal information, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft.

Secure your personal information

Keep your personal information such as your IRD number, and bank account information secure. Avoid carrying unnecessary identification documents in your wallet or handbag.

Be wary of sharing personal information

Be cautious when sharing personal information online, over the phone, or via email. Ensure you’re dealing with reputable companies and only provide personal information when necessary, and to trusted sources.

Use strong passwords

Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts and change them regularly. With so many logins and passwords to remember, from subscription services to online banking, we understand it’s tempting to use the same one again and again. However, please avoid using easily guessable or obvious passwords like your birthdate, or the word ‘password’ – you’ll be setting yourself up as an easy fraud target.

Disposal of personal documents

Make sure you shred any old bank statements, power bills, or any document that has your name and address on it, and never put these documents in a public rubbish bin. Think about getting your statements sent to you online instead.

Getting rid of your old laptop or computer?

Make sure you remove all your personal information before you dispose of them.

Enable two-factor authentication

Whenever possible, enable this two-step login process to your online accounts. It adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.

Check your bank accounts regularly

Regularly monitor your bank and credit card statements for unauthorised transactions. If you notice anything unusual contact your bank immediately.

Be cautious of unexpected events

Be sceptical of unsolicited emails, phone calls or text messages requesting personal information or financial details, and never click on any links. Legitimate companies typically won’t ask for sensitive information via these methods.

Keep your software up to date

Ensure your devices, including laptops, computers, and phones have up-to-date security software and operating systems to protect against the latest viruses and other cyber threats.

Review your credit report

It’s a good idea to regularly check your credit report and look out for any unusual or suspicious activity.

Use secure Wi-Fi networks

Try to avoid accessing your bank account or making financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, as these can be susceptible to hackers.

Keep yourself informed

Stay informed about identity theft scams and tactics used by criminals. Check the news and talk to friends and family. Being aware of potential threats can help you recognise and avoid them. Check out Scam Watch, a NZ government website for useful information and tips.