How your credit score can help protect your identity online  

Credit Score
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Team MONEYME|23 May 2024| 2-minute read

You’re probably aware that your credit score is a strong indicator of your financial health.  

But, did you know that knowing your credit score can also help you detect identity fraud early? Here’s how. 

Why protecting your ID matters 

In the 12 months leading to October 2022, six million Australians were hacked, according to research from the Australian National University. That’s one in three. For those aged 25 to 34, the stats are even worse. 41.5% were hacked in the same period.  

Hacking can have serious consequences. It can enable cyber criminals to gain access to your personal data – from your driver’s licence to your bank account details – then use it for sinister purposes. These might include spending your money, taking out loans in your name and selling your identity to other cyber criminals via the dark web. 

How can your credit score help protect your ID? 

The trick is to keep a close eye on your credit score, by checking it regularly. You can do that easily with MONEYME’s free credit score tool, available in the app. 

A sudden or unexpected decrease in your score could be cause for concern. It may indicate that a cyber criminal has accessed your identity and is using it to make transactions in your name.  

What to do if your credit score drops unexpectedly 

The first step is to check any credit events that have been listed on your credit file. You can do this with our credit score tool. Look out for credit applications you didn’t make or active credit accounts you didn’t authorise. If you spot an error or any suspicious activity, you should contact the credit provider straight away

If a cyber criminal is responsible for the transactions, you can ask credit reporting bodies to place a temporary ban on your credit report. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) recommends that you make this request of all three bodies operating in Australia – Equifax, Experian and Illion.  

How to report identity fraud 

If you’re a victim of identity fraud, it’s important to report it to prevent the hacker committing other crimes. The OAIC suggests:  

  • Checking all accounts, logging out of them on all devices and changing all passwords; and 
  • Contacting IDCARE to speak to an adviser. 

Better safe than sorry 

Looking after your personal data online might seem like an impossible task, given that data breaches take place so often. However, using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, staying vigilant, and keeping an eye on your credit score can go a long way to protecting you.  

Check your score for free

Do you know your credit score? Download the MONEYME app to check your score for free today.

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