“Stop, check and reject every suspicious message” is the advice CommBank’s General Manager of Group Fraud, James Roberts, has for anyone impacted by the recent Optus data breach.

He says these simple steps — designed to educate and empower individuals to protect themselves when something doesn’t feel right — mean customers can play an active role in keeping their identity safe.

Speaking to 2GB’s Money News last week, Mr Roberts spoke about the need for heightened vigilance of the risk of identity fraud following the data breach that may have affected millions of Australians.  

“When a criminal steals personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, or even worse your passport or driver’s licence numbers, this may allow them to use your good name to purchase products or take out lines of credit, which could impact your credit rating,” Mr Roberts said. 

Mr Roberts says the recent data breach serves as a timely reminder to stop, check and reject every suspicious message or phone call.

“Most scammers use time-pressure tactics to push you into doing something that you ordinarily would not do. Pause, take your time and consider it. It is fine to hang up and call back that service provider on a customer contact number you can verify on their website, card or a recent statement,” he added.

Mr Roberts recommends CommBank customers take the security check-up in the Accounts & security section of the CommBank app's settings, offering a number of simple ways to protect themselves — for example, activating location-based security, setting notification preferences and reviewing registered devices.

He also suggests people protect their credit score from being defrauded with Credit Savvy’s SavvyShield product, which is backed by the Commonwealth Bank. "It’s a free service that monitors your credit report and allows you to place a ban to stop fraudsters opening up credit under your name,” he said.

The SavvyShield feature is free to use through the Credit Savvy app which can be downloaded in the Apple and Android app stores.

As scams and fraud continue to rise, all Australians should stay alert. CommBank’s systems have not been compromised as a result of the data breach and keeping customers’ accounts and personal information safe remains the Bank’s priority. 

Staying safe from scams and fraud

If you think unauthorised activity has occurred then contact your bank as soon as possible.

If you have been compromised CommBank can also refer you to IDCARE, a free government-funded service that provides support to identity crime.

CommBank continues to work closely with the Australian Federal Police and other investigative, government and regulatory authorities to limit the impact of any scams and frauds.

For more information visit: commbank.com.au/safe