Scams are designed to trick you into handing over money or personal information. Scammers use different methods, like phone calls, text messages or emails, and might pretend to be from a trusted government department, like the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Identity theft involves using someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits, like a passport. Scams often lead to the theft and misuse of a person’s identity.
Anyone can be a victim of a scam or identity theft. If you think you have fallen victim to a scam or your identity has been stolen or misused, it is important to take steps quickly to limit damage to your identity or assets.
How to identify a scam
Scams can look genuine, and it can be difficult to tell when something is fake. You can read general information about scams on the ScamWatch website.
Scammers may ask for your personal information, including your:
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- Bank details
- Copies or details of identity documents.
Scammers might tell you to:
- click on a link in an email or text message
- provide identity information, including uploading identity documents
- pay fees or repay a debt.
What to do
If you get a suspicious email or text message claiming to be from us:
- don’t open it
- don’t click on any links or open attachments
- don’t respond to the sender
- do report it
- do delete the message.
How to check if it’s really us
Sometimes, we need to contact you. However, there are things we don’t do. Outlined below are some ways you can tell if it’s really us.
We do call people, but you should be wary of unexpected phone calls claiming to be from us. Ask for the caller’s name and contact details. Then you can call us to check. You can also report it to email@example.com.
Don’t try to call us using a phone number someone has given you, as it might be fake. You can look up the correct number on our ‘Contact Us’ page.
We do send people important information by emails, text messages and letters. Our messages may include:
- requests and reminders to attend appointments
- notification of a Registered Post tracking number letting you know your passport is on its way
- passport renewal reminders.
What we don’t do
There are other things we don’t do, including asking you to:
- click on internet links in an email or text message to open webpages or attachments, or to upload documents.
- pay us money to get a payment
- transfer money to get a payment
- buy gift cards or vouchers.
We’ll never ask you for money to release your information or fix your account.
We won’t offer you special deals. We won’t ask you to give us remote access to your computer.
You can get more advice on how to protect your information from these government websites: