So did that picture capture your attention?? The ATO (Australian Tax Office) has put together some info on identity theft and your tax file number. It’s important reading 10thousandgirls!
Is your identity secure? It’s your identity – protect it!
Your identity is a precious thing, and it’s up to you to protect it!
Your identity is made up of your personal details like your name, date of birth, address and other information, including your tax file number (TFN). Your TFN is a unique nine digit number issued to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You may have applied for your TFN through your school.
Did you know if someone else finds out enough about your identity, they could impersonate you and use your identity for illegal purposes? For example, they could use it to access government benefits, access your bank account, lodge a tax return in your name or even take out a loan in your name. This is called identity crime.
How does identity crime happen?
Identity criminals take other people’s details by:
- stealing purses, wallets, mail, or mobile phones
- sifting through rubbish
- advertising and interviewing for a job that does not exist
- asking questions while pretending they are a government, bank or other representative
- offering to help you complete a tax return or other official document
- reading information on a social networking page online, or
- tricking you into clicking on a link in an email, or web page that captures your details.
How can I protect my TFN?
- Never give someone your TFN unless there is a good reason, such as completing a tax form or opening a bank account.
- Never provide your TFN when applying for work, especially if you are applying for a job online.
- Only provide your TFN to your employer after you start work.
- Just like your PIN for your bank keycard, never store your TFN in your mobile phone, in your purse or wallet, or share it with your friends or family (including on social networking sites).
- See our online security page (www.ato.gov.au/onlinesecurity) for tips on using computers safely and information about genuine ATO email and SMS campaigns.
- When throwing away documents with your personal details on them, make sure you shred or destroy them properly first.
- Report the loss or theft of your TFN or other identity documents without delay.
So who can I give my TFN to?
You should only give your TFN to someone who is authorised to ask for it. The most common people and organisations who are legally allowed to ask for your TFN are:
- the ATO when discussing your tax records
- your employer after you start work
- your bank
- the Department of Human Services
- your super fund.
Help from the ATO
You should immediately report any loss, theft or misuse of your TFN, see www.ato.gov.au/identitycrime