Some payday lenders, such as Cash Converters and Nimble, ask their customers to provide personal information which could seriously risk their security.
Payday lenders lend money in short-term loans, granting them almost immediately, sometimes with very few credit checks. This makes them highly attractive to people on welfare or low incomes, who might need money urgently to pay bills.
An ABC report says some of these lenders are asking customers to provide their myGov login details or internet banking password.
A spokesperson for Cash Converters told the ABC they get data from the myGov portal as part of their online approval process. This allows them to review a loan applicant's recent Centrelink benefit history.
While it is legal to ask for this information, it does not have to be provided online, and applicants who give a lender access to their personal myGov account are putting their security at risk.
ASIC, which penalised Cash Converters in 2016 for failing to adequately assess the income and expenses of applicants, warns that customers may be liable for any debts if they have freely given out their account information.
The Department of Human Services and IT specialists advise people not to share their myGov access with anyone. If they have already given this information, they should change their passwords at once.