Credit card fraud, traps and scams: A guide to minimising the risks

Being a victim of credit card fraud is not something anyone expects, but taking some simple precautions and knowing what to steer clear of can help you avoid some obvious traps.

Scams to relieve you of your money are nothing new, but nowadays there are even more ways for thieves to empty your bank account, your wallet and your credit card. The good news is that you can take measures to make sure you don’t end up parting with your money, and knowing what to watch out for is the first step to protecting yourself.

Important contacts

Australian Federal Police:

  • ACT: (02) 6131 3000
  • NSW: (02) 9286 4000
  • NT: (08) 8980 1300
  • QLD: (07) 3222 1222
  • SA: (08) 8416 2811
  • TAS: (03) 9607 7777
  • VIC: (03) 9607 7777
  • WA: (08) 9320 3444
  • Urgent after-hours: (02) 6126 7777

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission:

  • 1300 300 630

Australian Media and Communication Authority:

  • To report an SMS scam, forward the message to: 0429 999 888
  • To report an email scam, forward the message to the Spam Intelligence Database: report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au

The Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct

Sets out the situations when you will and will not get your money back in regards to a fraudulent transaction on your account.

You will get your money back when:

  • A forged, expired or cancelled PIN or card was used.
  • A transaction took place before you received your card.
  • A transaction took place after you told your financial institution that your card was lost or stolen or that someone else may know your PIN or password.
  • It's clear that you haven't contributed to the loss.

You won't get your money back when:

  • You acted fraudulently.
  • You didn't keep your PIN or password secret.
  • You unreasonably delayed telling your financial situation that your card or PIN was lost or stolen or someone else may know your PIN code.

How-to guide for avoiding fraud

If you feel that you’ve become or might become a victim of fraud, go through this guide to learn about the common pitfalls of fraud and how to respond if you find yourself in one.

I replied to an email, letter or text offering me a "prize"

How do I know this is a scam?

  • You did not enter the competition.
  • You are asked to pay a fee, provide bank account details or personal documentation to claim your "prize".

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • Your money is gone and the prize will never be delivered.
  • Scammers often require you to send a copy of your driver's licence and passport to "confirm" your identity before claiming your prize. This information is used to steal your identity.

Take these actions

  • Don't reply to the email.

An email asked me to enter my account details

How do I know this is a scam?

  • Criminals try everything they can to make the email appear like it's coming from a genuine institution,
  • Typically, a phishing email will have a link, an attachment or call to action for you to update your details. The link will take you to a website that has the same look and feel as the original, but is always on a hacked site that may contain part of the genuine domain, for example: http://gorazor.ru/ua/.bankwest.com.au/
  • Your financial institution or a government department will never contact you asking you to enter your account or internet banking details,
  • Grammar and spelling mistakes are a dead giveaway,

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • If you click on the link, you will be asked to enter your online banking information or credit card details like you would when logging on to internet banking.
  • Once the scammers have your Internet banking details they have full control over your finances and are capable of everything from emptying your bank account through to applying for a credit card or home loan in your name.

If you have not opened the email or attachment, take these steps

  • Send the email to your financial institution as an attachment to alert them of the scam.

If you have opened the email and entered your bank account details

  • Take these actions:
  1. Check your online bank statement for any unusual transactions and contact your lending institution immediately, informing them that you have entered your banking details into a fraudulent email and asking for your account to be frozen.
  2. Perform a scan on your computer, checking for malicious software.
  3. Change your Internet banking login information and usernames and passwords for any other online accounts.
  4. If you have lost money, you will need to file a police report.
  5. Check your credit history to see if your details have been used to apply for a credit card or loan.
  6. Report the scam to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
  7. Spread the word among your friends, family and social network to increase awareness of the scam.

Someone has called me asking for my details offering to log on to my computer

  • How do I know this is a scam? Someone contacts you over the telephone saying they’re from Microsoft, the Australian Taxation Office, your lending institution or another trusted source and asks for your banking details or for you to log on to your computer.
  • Representatives from one of these trusted organisations will never contact you asking for your personal information.

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • They will ask you to verify your credit card details or to provide them with your credit card or security number. This information will be used for fraudulent purposes.
  • If they ask you to log on to your computer, you will be directed to a hacked website where your personal information will be compromised.
  • Once the scammers have your credit card information they may use it to steal funds from your accounts or steal your identity.

Take these actions

  • If you're unsure about the legitimacy of a phone call, hang up and call the official number of the organisation they are claiming to be from. This will help you identify whether the call is legitimate or not.
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and inform them of the situation.

Someone is trying to use me to launder money over the Internet

How do I know this is a scam?

  • The mule is usually approached online via email or instant message, or criminals may advertise on legitimate employment websites and in newspapers.
  • These scams may take the form of unsolicited job offers or opportunities which promise that you can work from home and make easy money.

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • Once the mule has been recruited by the fraudsters, they either open a new bank account or provide details of their own bank account in order to receive the stolen funds.
  • Once the funds have been received they are transferred offshore to a third-party criminal account.
  • The mule collects a commission for the transaction and is left open for either criminal prosecution by the police or having their identity stolen by the scammers.
  • The Australian Federal Police warns that engaging in this kind of activity can result in up to 25 years imprisonment and/or a $165,000 fine.

Take these actions

  • If you believe you have engaged in a money laundering scheme:
  1. Contact your financial institution immediately and inform them that you have had an unauthorised deposit into your account.
  2. Contact the state and federal police and inform them that you have accidentally participated in a money laundering scam.
  3. Keep the correspondence between yourself and the criminals to assist police in their investigation.
  4. Ignore any further attempts at solicitation by the criminals.

Someone has been using my credit card

How do I know this is a scam?

  • Skimmers steal your card information via a device that has been fitted to the area where you put your card into the ATM. Then they steal your PIN number through a device attached to the top of the key pad or a small hidden camera fitted to an area where it can film people entering their PIN.
  • Tampered machines often look suspicious and can be identified by wiggling the area where you enter your card into the machine. If it's loose, walk to another ATM.
  • Other signs that you've been skimmed include a purchase on your statement for goods or services that you never used in a place you have never visited.
  • You have been contacted by a member of your lending institution's fraud investigations team or they have blocked your account due to unusual transactions.

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • A "cloned" card can be created to spend your money and credit.
  • The stolen amount may be large or small depending on the scammer's method of operation.
  • The stolen information can be used to steal your identity and apply for loans or additional cards in your name.
  • The Commonwealth Bank and other major lenders monitor your account 24 hours a day and will notify and suspend your account if a suspicious transaction is discovered.
  • Visa and Mastercard's Zero Liability agreements will refund all defrauded funds provided their conditions are met.

Take these actions

  • Banks generally advise that you must:
  1. Contact your lending institution as soon as you read your statement and see a suspicious or unauthorised transaction.
  2. Have your primary and additional cards and accounts blocked and re-issued.
  3. Create a record of the fraud and complete a Transaction Investigation Request form, outlining the list of transactions that are fraudulent.
  • It is also advised that you:
  1. Obtain a credit report to verify that your details have not been used to open any fraudulent accounts.
  2. Report the incident to your local police authority.

Someone has applied for credit in my name

How do I know this is a scam?

  • Often there are few warning signs before you are contacted for payments against the credit or services the criminals have acquired using your identity.
  • Charges may appear on your bank or credit card statements that you don't recognise.
  • You might receive mail from a company or organisation you have had no interaction with, often relating to payment of debts or inquiries into services you have not made.
  • Irregular or failed postal delivery of bank or credit card statements can indicate criminals are intercepting or have redirected your mail.

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

  • The impact of identity theft can be both financially and emotionally devastating and it's extremely difficult and time-consuming for an individual to rectify.
  • Criminals use this type of information to obtain credit, purchase goods or services, falsify applications for passports, driver's licences and other documentation.
  • Crooks can even fraudulently claim government benefits or medical treatment and engage in other criminal activity in your name.

Take these actions

  • The Australian Securities & Investments Commission advises that if you have your identity stolen you should:
  1. Report the problem.
    If you believe someone may have used your identity details fraudulently, take the following actions immediately:

    1. Request a copy of your credit file from a credit reporting agency such as My Credit File to confirm the information on the file relates to the applications for credit that you have made.
    2. Contact any credit providers listed on your credit file to whom you have not applied.
    3. Contact the police and report the crime.
  2. Keep records of your conversations.
    When dealing with a matter of this severity, keep all notes of the conversations including:

    1. Names
    2. Contact numbers
    3. The date you spoke
    4. Key details of the conversation
  3. Your files will then be investigated.
    Each credit provider will conduct their own investigation and notify the credit reporting agency of the outcome. The agencies will then remove any fraudulent information from your credit file.

The item I bought online hasn't arrived

How do I know this is a scam?

  • The item is offered for considerably less than the online retail price.
  • The website has consistently negative feedback and poor reviews.
  • Scammers may provide a link to their preferred banking site that can infect your computer with malware once clicked.

What's going to happen if I fall victim to this type of scam?

How you paid for the item determines what the possible repercussions will be.

  • If you paid via wire service your money and goods are lost.
    eBay strongly discourages the use of instant cash wire transfers, such as Western Union, because there is no recourse available if the item is not delivered as promised
  • If you paid by credit card you may be able to cancel the payment or be reimbursed by your financial institution.
    Card issuers and card schemes provide some level of protection provided you meet with their electronic funds transfer policies, but this method of payment provides your private financial details to strangers

Take these actions

  • If you have fallen victim to an online auction scam, report the incident to the relevant police authority.
    You will need to provide the following documentation:

    • Copies of all the emails relating to the offence
    • A copy of the auction page including the username of the offender, the item number and a description of the item you have bought
    • Bank and transaction records
  • If you paid by credit card, contact your financial institution and fill out a transaction investigation request form. Get a copy of your credit report and statements to check that there are no unusual transactions on your account and no products have been applied for in your name

finder.com.au’s credit card fraud prevention tips

In this day and age, you should be just as concerned about leaving your credit card unattended at a bar or restaurant as when you are using it for online transactions.

The misuse of credit cards is a popular crime for one simple reason: a credit card transaction involves a transfer of valuable information over networks that often don’t carry enough protection, making it an easy and beneficial target for fraudsters.

How many Australians suffer from credit card fraud?

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, credit card fraud is among the most under-reported crimes in the country, with as many as half of all victims not reporting such incidents. The total number of fraud cases, not limited to credit card fraud, has been relatively stable over the last decade, hovering at around 100,000 instances per year.

Top 11 credit card scam prevention tips

Although it’s impossible to predict whether you’re going to be a victim of credit card fraud, here are a few tips that can help you protect yourself just in case:

  1. Never let your card out of your sight. No matter where you have to use your credit card, make sure you can see it at all times. Keep it away from prying eyes and camera-equipped mobile phones.
  2. Keep your card to yourself. It’s alright to treat your card like treasure and not share it with friends or family members. And sign your card as soon as you get it.
  3. Don’t click on suspect email links. This form of phishing is gaining popularity, getting unsuspecting people to click on links prompting them to check their offline/online accounts. Never log in to your credit card or bank account through an external ink.
  4. Don’t fall for "update information" emails. There are instances when fraudsters send emails to individuals asking them to update their credit card or bank account details. Never click on any links in such emails, and never provide any information.
  5. When online, look for https://. If you’re using your credit card details online, look for https:// at the beginning of the website address instead of the previously prevalent http://. The added "S" stands for added security.
  6. Review your statements. Go through your statements carefully each month, and if you spot a suspicious transaction, report it immediately.
  7. Don’t sign blank receipts. Some hotels still require their guests to sign blank receipts when they check-in. Never do this, and ask the person you’re dealing with to enter an amount instead. When you check out, make sure the receipt is ripped up or shredded.
  8. Back up details. Keep a backup of your credit card numbers and account numbers in case you need to report stolen cards or fraudulent charges.
  9. Use safe websites. Any website you make purchases through should offer safe and encrypted transmission of your information. For optimum safety, look for a padlock icon just before the address bar in your browser.
  10. Don’t provide details via email. Never provide your credit card or bank account details via email. No reputable seller deals this way, and remember that emails aren’t very secure.
  11. Notify your bank when you move. Before you move, make sure you inform your bank, because you never know who might get access to your financial information.

How does credit card fraud work?

Card fraud occurs when someone makes use of a credit, debit or stored value card to make purchases or withdraw cash without the owner’s permission, and of the three, credit cards are the most commonly misused. Fraudsters keep coming up with new ways to use credit cards, and while many previously used methods have become obsolete owing to technological advancements, some of the methods still manage to serve the purpose.

The following four categories account for a significant percentage of all credit card fraud reported in Australia:

  • Card-not-present fraud. In such a scenario, a fraudster can make use of your credit card details to make online and over-the-phone transactions, where there is no need for a physical card, a PIN, or a signature.
  • Counterfeit card fraud. Making a counterfeit credit card is not difficult if one has the right tools and supplies, and when it comes to getting credit card data, fraudsters can get this directly from your card using a method called "skimming" or they can buy it from underground markets.
  • Not-received fraud. This is when a fraudster gets access to your credit card before you do, mostly through your mailbox.
  • Application fraud. In this case, someone might actually apply for a credit card in your name, using your personal details, and then use it to make purchases and cash advances.

How can I protect myself from fraud?

Fraudsters and scammers can get access to your credit card or its details in various ways, so it pays to be watchful. To minimise the possibility of credit card fraud and misuse you can take certain protective measures, which include the following:

  • Don’t provide your credit card details to any business over the phone, via email, or via text messages
  • Don’t part with your credit card details on websites you don’t trust
  • When making in-store purchases or paying at restaurants, keep your card in sight, and watch out for a second card reader used for "skimming" your card’s information
  • Don’t fall for phone calls made by fraudsters pretending to be from the fraud department of your card provider
  • When you get a new card, sign it immediately
  • Memorise your PIN and destroy any written evidence of it

What should I do if I suspect fraud?

While credit card fraud is not difficult to prove in court, not all cases make it that far, mainly because many fraudulent schemes are not easy to pin down. Besides, there are instances when fraudsters operate from outside Australia, which puts them beyond the authorities’ control. If you suspect you’re a victim of fraudulent transactions, here’s what you can do:

  • Interstate/overseas scams. Get in touch with the ACCC, as it’s the only body that deals with such incidents. You can report a scam directly to its Infocentre using an online form.
  • Financial and investment scams. Malicious offers related to credit accounts, superannuation funds and the like fall under this category, and you should report these to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
  • Tax scams. If you feel you’re a victim of a scam targeting your tax returns, file a complaint with the Australian Taxation Office, which you can do via email.
  • Bank and credit card scams. In such situations, you should get in touch with your bank or card provider first, then contact both the ACCC and ASIC.

How am I protected against fraud?

Credit card providers continue to look for ways to make credit card transactions safer and more secure, and there have been noticeable improvements in this realm since credit cards first came into being.

Secured credit cards

Just about every credit card provider relies on multiple methods to provide security to cardholders. ANZ and Westpac banks, for instance, rely on Falcon for round-the-clock account monitoring, and Commonwealth Bank relies on its online fraud prevention solution, NetCode.

Protective measures

Credit card providers, as mentioned, make use of multiple safety measures, and here’s what you can expect from a typical modern-day credit card:

  • Credit card codes. If you look at the back of your credit card you’ll see a card verification value (CVV) number, which card issuers rely on to establish if a user actually has access to the card in question. If you have a Visa, Mastercard or Diners Club card, the last three digits on the back of the card make the CVV number, and in the case of American Express cards, the last four digits make the CVV number.
  • Security chips. While credit cards previously stored cardholder information on magnetic strips, newer cards make use of microchips, which offer increased protection when compared to magnetic strips. Data on these cards is encrypted and more difficult to copy.
  • Personal identification numbers. Newer cards also do away with requiring signatures on receipts, and you have to enter a PIN instead, thereby increasing security by a certain degree.
  • Online security. Mastercard SecureCode and Verified by Visa provide additional security when you use a Mastercard or Visa credit card online. These programs require you to enter certain personal information before completing unusual or suspicious transactions.
  • Additional features. Certain high-end credit cards offer additional peace of mind through zero liability policies and optional identity theft covers.

Government action and consumer protection laws

The Judicial Commission of New South Wales opines that individuals entrusted with handling delicate information are often the perpetrators of such crimes, thereby involving a serious breach of trust. The seriousness of any such offense takes the following factors into account:

  • Amount of money lost and possibility of its recovery
  • Length of time of the fraud
  • Fraudster’s motivations
  • Level of sophistication and organisation
  • Whether or not a breach of trust is involved
  • Impact of crime on the victim and on general public confidence

The Australian Consumer Law that came into effect in 2011 contains provisions that deal with some of the most common types of fraud, and offenders can be subject to actions like injunctions, monetary penalties, community service and jail time.

Lying Woman

Despite its notorious dependence on credit cards, Australians are still less vulnerable to fraud than those in other developed countries. In Britain, for example, 141 out of every 100,000 transactions in 2009 were fraudulent, compared to just 9 out of 100,000 in Australia, according to Smart Company. Here are some of the biggest and most recent:

  • The Mastercard hack. Considered one of the biggest hacks in the world at the time, this 2005 incident put some 40 million credit card holders at risk as hackers got hold of their information from the Mastercard database. Only a few thousand were affected in Australia, and they were quickly issued new cards by their respective banks. But the evidence took months to surface; although the news broke out in June, suspicious transactions were traced as far back as December of the previous year.
  • The Queensland fraud rings. Separate arrests made in Queensland in 2007 and 2009 may be linked to the same global syndicate that creates fake credit cards using data stolen online. In the more recent arrest, the fraud was believed to have cost consumers about $1 million, making it the biggest fraud of its kind in the state’s history.
  • The inter-bank breach. Three of Australia’s Big Four banks – Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac (including its acquired arm St.George) – had to cancel some 8,000 credit cards in May 2011 after their records showed several suspicious transactions. A link to the recent Sony PlayStation hack was quickly disproven, but as the incident followed a series of ATM glitches, it brought attention to the banks’ out-dated computer systems.
  • Taxi card skimming. Rising incidences of card skimming, where information is copied off a card’s magnetic trip, in passenger taxis prompted authorities to tighten their licence regulations. The scam was reported in Melbourne as early as 2009, but as of mid-2011 many cab drivers were still found to be using non-secure payment methods and operating under fake authorisations.
  • Melbourne fake credit cards. In 2006, North Melbourne-based Choon Ping Ng was jailed for three-and-a-half years for his involvement in an international fake card scheme that ran back to 2003. He was believed to have pocketed $60,000 out of the estimated $3.5 million of fraudulent transactions, which were traced to Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Wagga card fraud. Two separate incidents in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, in 2007 and 2009 pointed to a national or possibly international fraud ring involved in using fake credit cards to make purchases. In 2007 five arrests were made, and transactions totalling around $850,000 were uncovered. However, more fake cards were found to be in circulation in 2009 and local businesses were warned to keep an eye out for suspicious customers.
  • Paralympic phishing scam. “Phishing” is a term for a plan to retrieve personal and financial information, usually through false emails. One of the most memorable phishing scams to hit Australia asked people to help fund the Australian team for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. Those who chose to donate by credit card were led to a replica of the Westpac website, where they could then enter their card details. A glitch in the program gave the plot away, and banks immediately issued warnings to customers reminding them never to give out personal information online.
  • ATO scams. At the tail-end of the 2011 fiscal year, the Australian Taxation Office alerted taxpayers of a phishing scam posing as the ATO itself, asking individuals to pay $200 or provide their personal details to qualify for a $7,000 refund.
  • Phone scams. Since the early 2000s Australian authorities have warned consumers against credit card phone scams, in which criminals pose as bank agents or government representatives to get a person’s card details. Their stories range from free holiday vacations to suspected fraud, and can cost an individual anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Conclusion

When you get a new credit card, it is important that you know how to keep it safe, and signing it as soon as you receive it is only the starting point. While credit card fraud is not uncommon, there is no reason why you can’t keep your credit card safe if you follow the simple measures mentioned above.

Credit cards with refund protection

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
American Express Platinum Card
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
$1,200 p.a.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter)
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Earn Qantas points that can be redeemed for a one way, return or multi-destination Classic Flight Reward on over 50 partner airlines.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return flight and 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
American Express Platinum Business Card
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
$1,500 p.a.
American Express Business Card
Earn Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible purchases along with refund protection.
$109 p.a.

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Credit cards with purchase protection

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Take advantage of purchase protection repairs or replacements on eligible items if they are accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
The HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers purchase protection cover for eligible purchases.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Earn uncapped Velocity points on purchases and redeem for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire and gift cards.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
NAB Low Fee Card
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Citi Clear Platinum
Save with 14.99% p.a. on retail purchases. Also enjoy free wine when you dine with the Citibank Dining Program.
14.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card
Complimentary international travel insurance, transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, purchase cover insurance and extended warranty insurance.
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
Receive protection through guaranteed pricing scheme, purchase cover insurance, and extended warranty insurance.
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Qantas American Express Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$249 p.a.
American Express Platinum Business Card
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
$1,500 p.a.
ANZ First Student Card
An ideal credit card for students with up to 44 days interest-free on purchases. Access your account on the go with the goMoney™ app.
19.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel and purchase insurances and a 24/7 personal concierge.
11.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
Offers up to 1 Velocity point per $1 on purchases, combined with complimentary insurance covers and a concierge service.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$150 p.a.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return flight and 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.

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Frequently asked questions

Credit card statements go out monthly to a cardholder’s designated address. You can also get a clear indication by accessing your credit file.

You should get in touch with your credit card provider as soon as possible because the recurring charge could be a sign of fraud.

Mastercard and Visa have zero liability policies, which means they do not hold cardholders liable for fraudulent transactions made using their cards, as long as certain conditions are met.

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American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card

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ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
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St.George Vertigo Platinum
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14 Responses to Credit card fraud, traps and scams: A guide to minimising the risks

  1. Default Gravatar
    alaa | September 3, 2015

    i contacted immigration service company & they charged me 1200 us, but i found that they are scammers. how master card company can help me returning the money.

    • Staff
      Sally | September 3, 2015

      Hi Alaa,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If you believe that you are a victim of a scam, you need to contact your credit card issuer immediately and explain your situation. It would also help if you can present your provider all the necessary documentation that will serve as a proof that you have been defrauded.

      You can also file a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission by securing a consumer complaint form online, or via phone.

      Please refer to the links I have sent to your email for the complaint form and contact details of ACCC.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    Antonia | June 9, 2015

    How to find out the credit cards under my name?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | June 9, 2015

      Hi Antonia, thanks for your inquiry!

      An individual’s credit cards will generate monthly statements sent to the user’s designated address. Credit inquiries can also be checked by requesting a copy of your credit file.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    Erica | March 16, 2015

    We found someone has been stealing money from our debit card. It is like $40 per week in average and this had been continuing for more than 3 months. It belongs to my partner’s account. We stopped the fraud by reporting it to the bank, ANZ. But bad news is the bank said they can only cover the losses up to 120 days in time from the day we reported. We are trying to look back to see WHEN this started and how. What made me upset is, when I looked into the transaction description, the online companies that made the scams are so many and under different names. How can this happen for so long time without being notified by the bank? Do we have the right to claim for our losses prior to the 120-day time?
    Thank you very much for help.

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 17, 2015

      Hi Erica, thanks for your inquiry.

      The claims for losses from a fraud situation would be up to the lender/bank’s policies and lending criteria.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    Shela | February 26, 2015

    Wow loads of good tips!

  5. Default Gravatar
    Emma | May 11, 2014

    Is it legal for a restaurant to ask to hold my credit card until the end of the meal? I have offered my drivers’ license, but they want my card. I’ve said they can do a pre-authorisation, but refuse. They wont run a tab/bill without it, and some have min. purchase amounts to allow me to use a card. I’ve worked in the industry, Unless I have your card (in the safe), your card IS NOT SAFE! Is this legal under the new, amended CC laws in Australia?

  6. Default Gravatar
    Kate | April 13, 2014

    I recently stayed at a hotel and had to give my credit card details. The receptionist photocopied my card. Is this legal? Two weeks later someone spent $1200 on my card.

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 14, 2014

      Hi, Kate.

      If you believe you’ve been defrauded, contact your lending institution as soon as possible.

      Thanks for your question.

  7. Default Gravatar
    Jay | January 23, 2014

    Hi I have been scammed by a friends of 5 years .we used to use each others cards so there were never any doubts that it was not his card but I used to lend him money and he would pay me back some in cash and the rest he would say just go up the shops and get some smokes etc. I’m worried that I have unknowingly used a stolen card. What do I do I have contacted the police and said I’m willing to help with what ever they need..?

    • Staff
      Shirley | January 23, 2014

      Hi Jay,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Letting someone else use your credit card is against its terms of use; if you haven’t already please contact your bank and close the card.

      Otherwise, you’ll need to let the police do their job and help them out as much as possible.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  8. Default Gravatar
    Hicham | June 20, 2013

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am currently undertaking a research on the behalf of international SOS about cardholder liability in the case of credit card theft or loss (fraud).

    My research has the goal of gathering the same information for 54 different countries as regulations are different from country to country.

    I would like to know if you could (if possible) help me with some information that I believe you possess and that is extremely hard to find elsewhere (relevant information is rare).
    These questions are very simple and will only take a few seconds to answer:

    - Is there fraud regulation issued by the government (for example forcing the banks to cover the cardholders)?

    -If Yes what is the Limit? (in monetary units)

    -Do the banks provide cover?

    -Do Visa or Mastercard provide Cover?

    -Do they cover when the PIN is used ?

    Thank you very much for your attention to my case.

    Best regards,

    Hicham

    • Staff
      Jacob | June 24, 2013

      Hi Hicham. Thanks for writing in to us.
      a) Lenders and banks are not forced to do this – there are various codes and regulations which are voluntary to sign up to. The reason lenders are signatories is because it shows consumers that they can be trusted.
      b) Banks themselves provide cover over consumers. ANZ Falcon is one such example.
      c) Visa and MasterCard also have their own Zero Liability Guarantees – they will protect consumers in nearly all circumstances where the cardholder has taken reasonable steps to keep their information and details private and secure but has nevertheless been defrauded.

      Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated June 27th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
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HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
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ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
An introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers combined with premium benefits such as travel insurance covers.
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