What is identity theft?
Identity theft is when someone steals your identity – they find out identifying details like your date of birth or address. They can then use this information to do things like get access to your bank account, open a credit card or a loan in your name.
How do criminals get your information?
- Stolen mail from your letterbox.
- Home and vehicle burglaries – they'll take wallets, laptops, statements and any other types of personal information they find.
- Social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn – there's a wealth of information on these sites like your date of birth, where you live, who your partner is, your phone number or your email address.
- Personal information disposed of in the rubbish.
How we protect you
Our dedicated security team monitors all the activity on your accounts and are trained to spot unusual behaviour patterns. If we notice any unusual financial activity, we'll try to contact you to make sure it's you transacting on your accounts. If we can't get in touch with you and we believe there's a high chance of fraud, we may temporarily block your accounts to stop any more transactions until we can speak to you.
The security team also protects you by:
- Monitoring fraud trends affecting the banking industry
- Helping customers who've been victims of identity theft and working with the New Zealand Police to help make sure offenders are caught
- Providing advice to customers who have security concerns.
How you can protect yourself
- Keep your contact details up-to-date so we can let you know if we notice any suspicious transactions on your accounts.
- Keep your letterbox secure – have a lock.
- Keep your personal information in a safe place at home – a home safe isn't a bad idea.
- Only allow access to your online networking sites to people you know, and don't volunteer information that isn't necessary.
- Destroy your personal information, don't just throw it away – opportunistic criminals have no qualms about going through your rubbish.
- If you think your identity or accounts may have been compromised, contact us as soon as possible.