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Card-astrophe: Australians lost almost $1 billion to scammers in past year

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Millions of Aussies are suffering from card theft, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,039 respondents revealed 1 in 10 (11%) Australians – equivalent to 2.2 million people – had their credit or debit card skimmed last year.

The research found the average victim lost $418 – equivalent to a staggering $930 million Australia-wide.

Rebecca Pike, money expert at Finder, said as digital transactions skyrocket, so too does the threat of scammers.

"From imitating big, household name brands to pretending to be a family or friend in need, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.

"It's more crucial than ever to remain vigilant and proactive about protecting your credit and debit cards."

Finder's research found almost 1 in 10 (9%) Aussies who were scammed reported it, while 1% didn't.

A further 1% had been a victim of bank card fraud, but didn't realise until later that it was a scam.

Pike encouraged consumers to keep a close eye on their bank statements for any unauthorised transactions.

"Most financial institutions offer notifications for any activity on your account which can help you identify and report suspicious activity as soon as it happens.

"Get in touch with your bank straight away if you spot anything you don't recognise.

"If your card is stolen, report it immediately as prompt action can prevent further unauthorised use," Pike said.

In the past 12 months, have you ever had your credit card or debit card skimmed?
Yes, and I reported it9%
Yes, but I didn't realise until later that I'd been scammed1%
Yes, but I didn't report it1%
No, but this has happened to me more than 12 months ago5%
I'm not sure6%
No78%
Source: Finder survey of 1,039 respondents, December 2023

Here's some of the common credit card scams to watch out for, and tips to keep your information safe.

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