Credit Card Fraud in Australia

In recent years, Australia experienced an increase from the use of stored value and credit cards as a method of payment for services and goods. Although credit cards provide greater convenience for consumers, higher levels of theft of funds and fraud has been accomplished.

The Australian Payments Clearing Association published statistics indicating that card fraud increased by twenty-six percent from 2010 to 2012. The value of fraudulent transactions in Australia and overseas over the same period from 2012 to 2013 was AUD 262 million. The statistics also indicated that a large percentage of these dishonest transactions involved making purchases over the Internet or phone by using details of cards where it is not required to present the card physically.

Criminals operate in different ways to get their hands-on card holder’s available funds, such as spyware or some other scam to obtain your credit card details. Police recently uncovered Australia’s biggest credit card fraud committed by a Romanian syndicate. Criminals are very smart and Fraud International says they try to do everything they can to make phishing scams appear like it is genuine.

Phishing scams typically involve sending an e-mail purporting to be from a bank with a link or call to action for people to update their details. Once you clicked on the link, you may accidentally download a Trojan program, which could compromise your security.

Alternatively, after you clicked on a scam emails link, the system may ask you to enter your credit card details or banking information. The details you enter will give the criminals full control over your finances, and they are capable of many fraudulent actions, such as applying for a new credit card or home loan in your name and emptying your bank account. In Australia, an estimated AUD 1,300,000 was stolen during 2011 and almost 5% out of the 5,435 people who reported phishing scams lost a significant amount of money.

Not only do criminals have advanced skills to commit fraud through the Internet, but also at points of sale, which involves card skimming. Criminals use a device to copy information at bars or restaurants, or they place it over the Automated Teller Machine card slot. The information from the card gets transferred from the magnetic strip and is then used to make copies of the legitimate cards.

It is highly advisable to select a secure payment service when you do online transactions. Banks do not send emails requesting you to update information. Do not click on links to banking services. The best course of action is to delete scam e-mails immediately. In order to protect yourself, you should never give credit card details online or to anyone, you do not trust or know.