Australia’s love of online shopping and the movement towards an increasingly cashless society have witnessed an explosion of credit card fraud.
An analysis conducted by the consumer comparison website finder.com.au showed that the number of card frauds increased by 76 percent in 12 months before June 30, 2018 and amounted to 1.8 million questionable transactions.
“This is more than I expected,” says Angus Kidman, editor-in-chief of finder.com.au.
“I don't know, people understand how common this is. I think we know that this is a problem – we hear about credit card fraud attempts – but the amount of fraud is huge. ”
The cost of card-related crimes rose by 7.8 percent to $ 478 million, and now it is 85 percent of all credit card fraud.
As a rule, Australians become victims when they enter their data on tricky sites managed by fraudsters who want to make people think that they are on a legal page.
In some cases, data from reputable operators have been hacked and stolen.
“Often they do a small transaction to see if the card works, and then they buy a bunch of physical goods to deliver as quickly as possible,” he said.
“These criminals run it as a business — it’s a very well-organized approach, not random people involved in fraud.”
Banks use sophisticated systems to intercept fraudulent transactions and, as a rule, reimburse the amount that was stolen.
“This is not perfect, so it’s important to be vigilant,” said Kidman.
Even if the banks abandon the stolen amount, the sooner the fraud is revealed, the better.
If they do not detect criminal activity, it may be a headache to figure out when — and if — you will eventually discover it yourself.
“It's boring and tedious, but it's worth looking at your statements and transactions to see if there is something that shouldn't be. The perfect habit is to cross your trades. ”
Justin Davis from Canstar said it’s almost impossible to completely avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud, but there are steps that consumers can take to minimize the risk.
It is important to safely remove personal documents, including bank statements and any other fragments containing identification data.
“If you dispose of any documents that contain personal data, make sure that you destroy them or otherwise destroy them — put them in water — before throwing them in the trash can,” Ms. Davis said.
When shopping online, trust only reputable stores and avoid sites that look untidy or do not offer safe payment options.
Crime syndicates regularly attack ATMs, installing fake panels with cameras and skimming devices that allow them to copy your cards.
Cases of skimming and card replication decreased by 45 percent per year until June 30, 2018, but they still happen.
Beware of cars that look dodgy or have something that looks out of place. Ms. Davis said she should also cover the keyboard when entering the PIN.
“Statistics show that online hacking has bypassed other forms of financial fraud,” she said.
“Therefore, it may be a good idea to constantly update anti-virus and security software on your computers and mobile devices and try not to visit or buy on sites with dubious security.
"And it goes without saying, to do everything possible so as not to follow the links in fraudulent letters."