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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Peter Brewer

Anxious Optus customers inundate not-for-profit service, desperate for advice

IDCARE has fielded more than 2500 identity theft enquiries in the past 48 hours. Picture supplied.

The not-for-profit advisory service IDCARE has been inundated with concerned Optus customers in the wake of data breach scandal, fielding more than 2500 inquiries in the past 48 hours.

A spokesman for IDCARE, which is based in Queensland but delivers advice and fields inquiries from across the country, described the huge volume of recent inquiry as "the Everest in front of us".

Until the Optus scandal became public, IDCARE was a little-known charity which provided free advice to individuals and businesses about how to extricate themselves from identity theft circumstances.

However, as the full extent of the Optus hack emerges, the organisation now find itself right on the frontline.

Fact sheets on the organisation's website are proving useful, but the sheer volume of calls from anxious and distressed consumers has almost overwhelmed its resources.

The service is reaching out to Optus, hoping for some financial support to bolster its capability to respond through its case managers.

"For the vast majority of Optus customers who haven't experienced any misuse, we have a dedicated page we are updating via based on the latest developments," the service said in a statement

"This includes practical advice and protection measures."

The service's website offers the following precautionary advice to Optus customers:

  • Remain vigilant about scams and unsolicited calls, emails and text messages.
  • Scammers often impersonate government and businesses. Never respond to requests to provide personal and account information, or access to your device.
  • Make sure you disconnect and make your own enquiries.
  • Never click on any links that look suspicious or provide passwords, personal or financial information
  • Consider subscribing to for the latest information about scams impacting our community.
  • Look out for any suspicious or unexpected activity across your online accounts and report any fraudulent activity immediately to your provider.

IDCARE strongly recommended using unique passwords and setting up Multi-Factor Authentication for online accounts.

"You can do this with Hotmail, Gmail and on the Microsoft website for an '' email address," the IDCARE advised.

"It is preferable that wherever you can set up MFA, that you use an app on your device such as Google Authenticator (Google Play / AppStore), or Microsoft Authenticator (Google Play / AppStore), rather than an SMS."

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