Managing Your Identity Theft Risk In A Digital Society

Managing your identity fraud risk

Managing your identity fraud risk

Identity fraud, otherwise known as identity theft, identity crime or even cybercrime, is an ever-present risk we now live with throughout today’s modern society. With the average person now spending more time online and our personal data now identified as a more valuable trading commodity than oil, our exposure to identity fraud risk is increasing.

In this article, we provide an overview of the risks to look out for, what to do if you’ve fallen victim to identity fraud, and how to protect your online identity and personal information from future malicious cyberattacks.

Identity Fraud Explained

According to the Office Of The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) identity fraud involves someone using another individual’s personal information without consent, often to obtain a benefit.

Once a scammer has your personal identity, they can use it for a variety of illegal reasons ranging from opening up a new bank account and obtaining credit, to applying for a credit card and spending someone else’s funds, or even setting up a fake passport to use when conducting illegal activity.

Spotting evidence of identity theft can be tricky as it can often be disguised well. If you’re seeing unusual charges on your bank statement, strange emails asking for your personal information, or you are receiving phone calls asking for feedback on products you’ve never tried, this may be the breadcrumb you need to identify a fraudulent issue.

A Growing Risk To Personal Data

Scammers are constantly coming up with creative and elaborate ways to obtain personal information from online browsers, and from the statistics outlined in this Eftsure article, these scams seem to be working as 1 in 15 people worldwide now suffer from identity fraud.

Closer to home, analysis carried out by the Australian Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department, estimated that identity crimes throughout the nation cost roughly $1.6 billion per year.

Since the initial outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were spikes in identity fraud behaviour with roughly half of all Australians receiving a fraudulent call/text asking for personal information, which was a 55% increase since before the pandemic.

We can also see from the Scam Statistics section on The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) website that, in terms of identity theft cases, Australian consumers lose the highest amount of funds on Mobile apps, whilst Phone Calls make up the highest volume of known reports, with the 35-44 year age group being the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and the most likely to lose money.

With statistics like these, it’s becoming increasingly essential to protect your online identity and to reduce your risk of falling victim to malicious attempts to steal your personal information.

Mitigating your identity fraud risk

What To Do If Your Identity Has Been Stolen

It’s important to note here that Scantek is not the go-to answer if you’ve fallen victim to identity fraud.

Whilst our Identity Verification software helps business owners verify personal data and authenticate documentation, responding to an identity theft scenario requires following up with unique authorities who are external to our business.

Here are our suggested pathways when reacting or responding to an identity theft situation in Australia.

  • Report it to local authorities – Time is of the essence when dealing with identity theft so you should flag this immediately with the most relevant authority. Some examples include:
    • Contact your local police station and provide as much information as possible
    • ReportCyber – Raise a request via the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
    • SCAMwatch – The ACCC’s online service for scam reporting/assistance
    • Department Of Home Affairs – Australian immigration and customs border policy
  • Tell your bank immediately – If there is a risk to your financial situation, it’s critical to raise the alert with your financial institution/provider as they will often have their own policy to take you through and a process for reversing the funds.
  • Request a credit report – By requesting an updated credit report, you will be able to check your transaction history and prevent any new accounts being set up in your name, and you can even request a ban period on your credit report which limits activity on the account.
  • Request A Victim’s Certificate – You can apply for a victim’s certificate from the Commonwealth here, which helps to support your claim and provides evidence and clarity around your case ahead of submitting it to your financial institution or government agency.
  • Seek professional advice – There are a number of professional services available to help you navigate an identity fraud case, one of which is Australia’s national identity and cyber support service known as IDCARE
  • Update your online information – This could be in the form of updating your passwords, changing your login details, creating a new email address and closing unauthorised accounts.
  • Share the news – Tell your friends, family and colleagues about any breaches, especially if this means they’ve received any contact from your fake profile.

Protect yourself from identity theft

Limiting Your Identity Fraud Risk

Whilst future cyber-attacks for your identity and personal data are constantly imminent, especially in an increasingly digital world, there are ways you can limit your risk in future.

  • Ensuring your keep your personal information as safe and protected as possible.
  • Having strong passwords for your online accounts and changing them regularly.
  • Activating Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on all devices, logins and services, in particular for your email and social media accounts.
  • Maintaining stringent records of all financial spending including bank statements, receipts, tax returns and other financial documentation.
  • Checking in on your financial statements regularly to identify rogue transactions.
  • Keeping personal information (like your date of birth) private or secure on public forums like social media.
  • Having an up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer and devices with regular updates and scans being run to identify any risks or phishing attacks.
  • Keeping your personal data safe and secure when dealing with any external parties.
  • Being mindful of doing any sensitive browsing whilst using public Wi-Fi hotspots in case they are not secure.

These are just some ways to mitigate your identity fraud risk, and with a bit of common sense, you can stay on top of future risks by being careful and considered with any online transactions.

cybercriminal activity with identity fraud

The Risks Of Identity Theft In Social Media

Cybercriminal activity is on the rise, and one of the target areas of concern is social media.

Whilst most of us have active social media accounts, where we share content and information in public forums, groups, pages and profiles, this can present an evident opportunity to cyber criminals looking to steal your identity due to the personal information being published.

By simply owning a social media account and periodically posting information publicly, you are opening yourself up to identity fraud risks, so it’s never been more important to mitigate your risk by following the above best practise recommendations.

Be Smart About Your Personal Data

The increasing risk of identity crime in our digital society is something to be very mindful of when browsing on any device, however, as outlined above, there is ample support and guidance available to consumers.

By being considered and smart with your online browsing behaviour, and leaning on professional bodies in times of need, you can ensure your personal data will stay safe and protected throughout the digital economy.

If you are a business in need of an easy solution to ensure your customers are who they say they are, we welcome you to check out our unique Identity Verification software.

So You’ve Been Banned From A Venue….What Next?

Banned patrons article by Scantek

security and banned patrons article by Scantek

We’ve all experienced those nights which end up being bigger than we’d first planned, with flashbacks to free-flowing drinks, bellowing laughter, embarrassing dance moves and a few stumbles here and there. Whilst the simple remedy of a good night’s sleep, some hydration and a greasy morning-after breakfast are usually enough to offset the damage, if you find yourself having been flagged as a banned patron, it may take you a bit longer to bounce back from the night before.

Since our Scantek ID scanning software is utilised throughout nightlife venues to coordinate and manage patron safety, we often get a lot of questions from banned patrons who are unsure what to do next. It’s important to note that we/Scantek do not issue bans, nor do we have the capacity to change or reverse these.

Whilst we can’t directly assist banned patrons, instead, we have put together this article to outline the steps you can take if you need to follow up a ban with the venue who put it in place.

We have also put together a list of Banned Patrons FAQs should you have a question specifically relating to our Scantek ID scanning technology.

Increasing Control For Venue Owners

Patron safety and security are high on the list for venue owners who are now putting strict new measures in place to improve their level of control over rowdy customers, with the ability to ban patrons who are not following the rules or endangering the comfort, safety and well-being of others around them.

As we explored in our article, Improving Community Safety Through Venue Entry Technology, the Queensland government are using our ID verification technology to control patrons in the Safer Nights Precinct, with the number of assaults, ambulance callouts, hospital admissions, and serious crimes all reduced since implementing the technology – so the solution is working.

Whilst this is great news for nightlife venue owners in particular, there are some occasions where a previous ban can be revisited, challenged and even reversed should the patron and venue come to an agreement. Whilst this isn’t common, it is a possibility with several ways to go about it.

Banned patrons outside nightlife venue

Banned Patrons: What To Do Next

If you find yourself on a banned patrons list, here are some suggested next steps you can take to contest a recent ban.

1. Call The Venue – Whilst this may seem an obvious step, it is often the quickest way to address the ban as the venue will have all of the information relating to your case. It may require you to speak with multiple personnel, from the Bouncer to the Door Manager, and perhaps even the General Manager, and by conducting professional and respectful follow-up, you can work towards resolving the issue and coming to a mutual agreement.

2. Message The Venue – Some venues prefer to process ban enquiries online by channelling the enquiry through their email, Facebook Page, CRM or through a contact form on their website. Research the venue and see if they have a preferred method of contact for bans, and once you’ve found this, send through a polite message asking to investigate the ban, whilst providing your contact details for follow-up and further conversation.

3. Schedule An After-Hours Visit – If you prefer discussing the ban in person, a majority of hospitality venues manage their admin tasks during the working week, so you may be able to schedule a visit outside of standard trading hours which may mean the staff are more available – it’s very important to call ahead first so you can agree a day and time to visit as you don’t want to be inflammatory by visiting the site whilst banned as this could lead to further issues or sensitivity.

4. Seek Legal Advice – If you feel you’ve been unfairly banned from a venue, you can seek the assistance of a legal professional who can advise you on the next steps should you wish to go down the legal pathway.

5. Submit A Formal Apology – In some cases, you may find that your ban is understandable given your past behaviour so it may come down to you submitting a formal apology to the venue and asking for their management team to reconsider the ban. As long as the apology is heartfelt and genuine, with an assurance of no future issues, you have an opportunity to mend the relationship and have the venue re-open its doors to you once again.

6. Find A New Favourite Spot – If it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reverse your ban, or perhaps you feel the ban is in fact warranted, then it may be time to simply find a new local spot for the time being whilst your ban is served. In most cases, bans only last for weeks or months, in which case, you’ve got some time to find your new favourite venue. After all, we’re often spoilt for choice when it comes to hospitality options.

Further to the above recommendations, it is important to reiterate that Scantek does not issue venue bans, nor do we have the ability to change or reverse any bans that have been applied. So, we advise against contacting our Scantek team for any ban related enquiries, and instead, we recommend following the steps advice.

Nightlife venue entry

Every Venue Operates Differently

One thing to remember is that each time you enter a venue, you are agreeing to abide by the venue’s guidelines of what is deemed acceptable behaviour. Venue policies are also governed by the local community laws and enforceable based on the different state legislations, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to contesting venue bans.

Consequently, the way to follow up a ban will always differ from venue to venue, so whilst the suggestions in this blog apply to most venues, you will need to exercise your own judgement when contacting a specific venue as each will handle the request differently.

As long as you process your request respectfully and professionally, there is a good chance the venue will at least hear you out before making their decision – so keep it friendly and civil.

Can Scantek Help Me With My Ban?

The short answer here is no.

Whilst Scantek scanners are increasingly becoming more widely used in nightlife venues as explored in our article The ID Verification Tech Taking Nightlife Venues By Storm, we don’t have the authority to reverse or change a banned status, as the ban is unique to the venue who put it in place.

If you find yourself on a banned patron list, as mentioned previously, you’ll need to contact the venue directly for assistance in contesting or reversing this.

If you’ve been banned from one venue which uses our Scantek technology on the door, this won’t necessarily mean you’ll be barred from another venue using the same technology, however, your previous ban record will be flagged on the system once you’re scanned, so it will then be up to the door manager or bouncer to decide whether or not to grant you entry.

Have Fun, But Be Mindful

The easiest way to navigate the above challenges is to always be mindful, respectful and aware of your behaviour whilst out at public and private venues.

By having a skipper in your group who can keep an eye on your behaviour, limiting your alcoholic intake and having a positive, happy energy whenever you go out, you’ll be well on your way to a great night out without the risk of landing in hot water.

We hope this article has been of value. If you have further questions, we welcome you to browse our banned patron FAQs which will provide an insight into some of the most common questions we regularly get asked.