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Data stolen in the Optus hack? Here’s what to do

If you're an Optus customer, you might want to secure your ID details.

If you're an Optus customer, you might want to secure your ID details. Photo: AAP

Millions of Optus customers will need to take steps to protect themselves as the fallout of the telco’s data hack continues.

The personal information of up to 9.8 million people was stolen by criminals last week, including names, addresses, emails, and ID records such as licence, passport and Medicare numbers.

Experts are warning people whose data has been taken that they’re at heightened risk of identity theft or even personalised financial scams.

So if your information has been stolen, here’s how you can obtain a new licence number, passport number, or update other personal information.

Protecting against identity theft

Optus has engaged IDCARE, a free national identity and cyber support service, to support affected customers.

If you believe your data has been put at risk, contact IDCARE for expert advice.

Optus has also offered a 12-month free subscription to credit monitoring service Equifax so affected users can monitor for suspicious activity.

Details on how to access this service will be available in coming days.

Medicare numbers

If you’ve used your Medicare card number to prove your identity with Optus, Service Australia says people can’t access your Medicare details with just your Medicare card number.

But if you’re concerned, you can replace your Medicare card online through myGov.

You will have the same Medicare number as previously, only the last digit will change.

Passports

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated passports are still safe to use for travel.

Australians passports cannot be used for identity fraud, thanks to facial recognition technology, and the fact a physical passport is needed when travelling.

If you still want to cancel your passport, call the department on 131 232.

The federal government has requested that Optus foot the bill for passport replacement fees, but the company has yet to confirm it will.

Licences: Victoria

Victorian drivers are being encouraged to ‘flag’ their potentially vulnerable driver licences to prevent any unauthorised changes or access to individual information through the Victorian licence database.

Records will also be flagged within the national database.

A dedicated form has been set up for concerned Optus customers to fill out.

Eligible Victorian licence holders affected by the Optus hack will be able to get a free replacement once VicRoads validates all replacement requests against Optus’ database.

Applications for new licences will have to be done separately from requests to have licence details flagged.

Victoria will offer replacement licences at no cost.

Licences: New South Wales

NSW Optus customers who have had both their driver licence number and associated card number compromised are ‘strongly advised’ to apply for a replacement licence as soon as possible.

Customers should be able to apply for replacements online through Service NSW, or in person at a Service NSW centre.

A $29 replacement fee will be charged by Service NSW at the time of application, but the state government expects Optus to issue advice about reimbursements in the coming days.

Licences: Queensland

Queensland state transport minister Mark Bailey said on Twitter that new licences with new numbers will be provided for free to affected residents.

Anyone seeking a new licence should visit a Queensland Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centre.

“An Optus data breach notice or written notification from an enforcement authority is required, along with evidence of identity for the new licence,” Mr Bailey said on Twitter.

Queensland has a hotline for Optus hack victims: (07) 3097 3108.

Licences: Western Australia

The WA government announced new driver’s licence cards with new licence numbers will be issued to affected Optus customers for free, with their new applications to be prioritised.

If your licence details have been compromised, WA residents have been told to attend a Department of Transport Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent to have a new licence issued, and provide:

  • A primary and secondary proof of identity
  • An Optus issued document verifying a proof of breach
  • A current WA driver’s licence.

Licences: South Australia

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas says the state’s drivers affected by the Optus hack will be eligible for a free licence replacement.

If your licence has been compromised, you can head to a Service SA centre to apply for a change of licence number, and bring any documentation you have received from Optus.

If you have a mySAGOV account, Service SA recommends you set up two-factor authentication to further protect your personal information.

Licences: Northern Territory

Optus has told the Northern Territory government about 20,000 of the territory’s residents have had their driver’s licence data stolen, and all will be contacted by Optus.

Northern Territory driver’s licences include a licence number and a card number, which are both required for the licence data to be used for identity fraud.

About 200 Optus customers are thought to have had both these numbers stolen.

Affected customers will have to attend a Motor Vehicle Registry and present their breach notice from Optus to get a free new licence.

Licences: Tasmania

The Tasmanian government announced that from noon on Wednesday, replacement Tasmanian licences will be free for those who can prove they have had both the licence number and card number stolen.

The replacement process also applies to those customers who have had their Personal Information Card (PIC) compromised.

Those affected should visit a Service Tasmania shop to arrange a new licence number and a replacement licence card, and will need to bring evidence from Optus that they have been affected by the hack.

The Department of State Growth will contact customers who have already applied for a replacement licence to reimburse the cost.

Licences: ACT

Access Canberra established a dedicated hotline for inquiries from people who are concerned their driver licence has been compromised.

Call the resolution and support team on 13 22 81 and select option one.

In the ACT, your driver licence card includes a driver licence number and a driver licence card number. The former stays with you for life, and the latter changes each time your card is reprinted.

Having these two fields reduces the risk of the card being used for fraudulent activity.

However, Optus has said that both numbers have been compromised in the hack, and is encouraging people to get new licences.

Optus will credit the cost of a replacement licence if ACT residents have had their driver’s licence number and licence card number compromised.

ACT residents looking to replace their cards have three options:

  • Apply online via the Access Canberra website. After the transaction, contact the resolution and support team at Access Canberra on 13 22 81 and select option one
  • Contact the resolution and support team at Access Canberra on 13 22 81 and select option one. They can complete the online licence form on your behalf. You will need to make payment via the phone
  • Go to an Access Canberra Service Centre to apply for a new licence.
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