Be yourself, don't let a scammer be you. Scams Awareness Week. 17–21 August 2020. #scamsweek2020.

Scamwatch has seen a 55 per cent increase in reports involving loss of personal information this year compared with the same period in 2019, totalling more than 24 000 reports and over $22 million in losses.

This Scams Awareness Week, listen to our new podcast series to find out how scammers use new technology to trick you into giving away information they can use to steal your identity for their own gain and ways you can protect yourself.

This is Not Your Life podcast: new episode daily

From the makers of ABC consumer affairs TV show "The Checkout", our This is Not Your Life podcast is the most entertaining way to protect your identity. There is a new episode every day this week.

Today's episode

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Be yourself: our top tips to protect yourself

Your personal information is valuable. You have a lot to lose – and not only money. Once lost, it can take years to recover your identity. But there are some simple ways you can protect yourself.

Do your own research to independently verify if someone is who they claim to be.

  • If you receive a phone call from someone you suspect is a scammer, hang up, find the organisation's number yourself and call them back. Never use a number they give you.
  • Don't trust a site or an ad just because it’s advertised on social media or classified website, or claims it’s endorsed by a celebrity. Check independent reviews and be wary of offers too good to be true.

Be suspicious of emails and messages asking for your personal information, even if they seem to be from a trusted source.

  • Watch out for telltale signs of a scam in unsolicited emails and messages, like not using your correct name, typos and grammatical errors, or suspicious web addresses.
  • Don't click on links in unexpected emails or messages, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate source.

Don't share personal information online with someone you've never met in person.

  • Don't give financial or account details, or copies of your identity documents to someone online who you’ve never met in person.
  • Never give strangers remote access to your computer.
  • Limit what personal information you share about yourself online, including on social media.
  • Use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and never share them with others.

Use tools that help you check and protect your online security.

  • IDcare’s free Cyber First Aid Kit can help you work out what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.
  • Check your credit report for free using a reputable credit reference bureau at least once every year – this can help you catch any unauthorised activity.
  • Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date.

Find out more about how to detect and protect yourself from identity theft.

Take part in the campaign: resource library

Help us spread the word on identity crime and how consumers can spot scams and protect themselves.

Download campaign resources.

Our partners

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of our government, business, and community group partners. See our full list of partners.