People are being encouraged to take part in ShredFest and dispose of confidential documents securely to protect themselves from identity theft.
A shredding truck will be available to shred documents you no longer need, such as utility bills, insurance, old bank statements and credit card bills, or health records, which contain personal details that could be stolen and used in identity scams.
The truck will be located in the Footscray Library carpark, on Saturday 10 July, from 10.30am – 11.30am.
Shredding is free and there is no need to remove staples or clips from documents.
An identity scam involves someone else using your identity to steal money or gain other benefits. Scammers can access your private information through mailboxes or discarded personal documents, or via fake emails or texts prompting consumers to click a link and fill out their personal details online.
By properly shredding such documents when you no longer need them, you reduce the risk of a scammer obtaining your personal information.
ScamWatch figures reveal reports of identity theft in 2020 across Australia almost doubled, with more than 20,000 cases reported compared to 11,000 in 2019. $3 million was reported lost to scams in 2020.
To protect yourself from identity theft you should:
- put a lock on your mailbox
- destroy any documents containing personal information that are not required
- be cautious about requests for your personal information over the phone and in person
- regularly check your bank and superannuation statements.
You can also ask your bank or utility suppliers to send you bills electronically.
If you suspect that your personal information has been stolen or misused, it’s important to act quickly. Notify the relevant organisation, such as your bank if you think your banking details have been stolen, as soon as possible. Also, report it to Victoria Police.
For more information about identity theft and scams visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.
Victoria’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne will be present on the day, to help get the word out about protecting yourself from identity theft.
Location: Footscray Library car park, Paisley Street, Footscray
Date: Saturday 10 July 2021
Time: 10.30am – 11.30am