Free Passports and Driver’s Licenses for Optus Customers

The government has spoken. Optus customers are eligible for free passports, as well as driver’s licenses, due to the Optus cyberattack.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has ordered telco (Optus) to pay for new passports for any victim embroiled in the hack. Optus has now confirmed they will do so. More than 10 million people may be eligible.

This is just one of the many developments since the cyber attack on 22 September 2022.

Operation Guardian

The data breach exposed the personal data of millions of Australians, including:

  • Names
  • Date of births
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses,
  • Residential addresses, and
  • Identity document numbers such as driver’s licences, Medicare and passport numbers

The Australian Federal Police has also set up a new task force to help protect customers affected by the Optus data breach from identity theft. The 10,000 people whose identity documents were released earlier this week will be prioritised. The task force is known as Operation Guardian. 

Customers affected by the breach will receive multi-jurisdictional and multi-layered protection from identity crime and financial fraud,” AFP Assistant Commissioner of Cyber Command Justine Gough told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

Guardian will focus on monitoring online forums and other internet and the dark web sites for criminals trying to exploit the identity information.” 

Driver’s license renewal

Earlier this week Optus confirmed that anyone impacted will be able to receive a new driver’s license and Australians across the country are already lining up or going online to do so. Customers will need to give the email from Optus for proof of breach.

We predict this will be the same case for those looking to renew their passports after the breach. A replacement passport costs $193.

Medicare breach

Optus also confirmed this week that the Medicare ID numbers of 36,900 Australians were exposed – including almost 15,000 that were still valid.

Optus said they would contact all of those impacted within 24 hours and Australians will most likely also need to line up for a new Medicare number as well.

Watch out for Optus scams

There are several scams circulating through texts and emails right now.  Below are a few to be aware of:

optus customers scams to be aware of


optus scams

optus scamKeep an eye on Scamwatch for more Optus customer scams as they come in.

If you’ve been hacked: 

You would have received a text or email from Optus informing you of this. You may want to renew your driver’s license and passport just to be safe.

In addition, all Optus customers impacted by the attack should:

  • Look out for any suspicious or unexpected activity across your online accounts, including your telco, bank and utilities accounts.
  • Report any suspicious activity in your bank account immediately to your financial institution.
  • Do not click on any links in any email or SMS claiming to be from Optus.
  • If people call posing as a credible organisation and request access to your computer, always say no.
  • Check all website sources – just check that it is an official website before taking any future action.
  • If you are unsure about why you are being asked to divulge private information, stop and verify who the person or organisation is that is making that request of you.
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