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Caring for ID fraud victims

The Department of Human Services has just announced a three-year arrangement with IDCARE to help victims of scams and identity theft.

Many people think they will never be scammed or have their identity stolen, but the reality is everyone is a potential victim.

The Department of Human Services helps victims of scams and identity theft by providing advice and support to customers about scams that impersonate services such as Centrelink, Medicare and myGov.

The department has just announced a three-year arrangement with IDCARE to support these customers even more.

IDCARE is a not-for-profit organisation that offers specialist support for people who may have fallen victim to scams or identity theft.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says the department is pleased to extend the arrangement with IDCARE, which has been in place since October 2015.

“Last year we took over 8,900 calls on our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk from customers at risk of scams or identity theft,” Mr Jongen said.

“Of those calls, we referred over 2,000 customers to IDCARE.”

When someone is referred to IDCARE they get a Case Manager who is a specialist Identity and Cyber Security Counsellor.

The Case Manager will help people explore what happened, identify the risks, and what action they need to take.

“It can be quite daunting if you’ve been scammed or had your identity stolen,” Mr Jongen said.

IDCARE’s service is about sharing knowledge and building a person’s confidence and resilience.

They also gather information and intelligence reports on cyber-criminal activities that may impact the department.

“We work closely with IDCARE to get intelligence on suspicious activities so our staff and customers can stay ahead of scammers,” Mr Jongen said. 

“We want to work with the best people to protect Australians from fraud, and IDCARE is the only organisation within Australia that provides comprehensive cyber and scam related services to the Australian community.

“This partnership with IDCARE ensures customers who are scammed or have their identity compromised will continue to be supported.”

The department proactively educates the Australian community on scam activity, to prevent or reduce the impact of scams. 

“If someone asks you for your personal information or copies of your identity documents, you should be cautious,” Mr Jongen said. 

“It’s OK to ask them why they need that information.

“Your identity is an important asset to value and protect.”

If someone thinks they’ve fallen victim to a departmental scam, or they’ve had their Medicare card lost or stolen, they can call the department’s Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126.

They can also email reportascam@humanservices.gov.au.

More information

  • There’s more information on scams and identity theft here
  • There’s more information on IDCARE here

Media contact: DHS Media Team on 1800 531 991