Online crime will rise before Christmas

Peter Terlato 24 October 2016

cyber crime credit card fraud scams

Credit card fraud up 21%.

Fraudsters and cyber criminals are increasingly targeting Australians using credit and debit cards to make online purchases, accounting for almost 80% of all Australian card fraud, according to a new study.

A finder.com.au analysis of the Australian Payments Clearing Association's (APCA) latest report, Australian Payments Fraud: Details and Data 2016, shows the amount online criminals stole from Australian credit cards used online last year jumped 21%, rising from $300 million in 2014 to $363 million in 2015.

Australia has 16.6 million credit cards and 43.2 million debit cards currently in circulation. In the seven months to July 2016, Australians made 584 million purchases.

Using this data and the report's figures, the analysis estimates increasing levels of card-not-present fraud puts a potential $34.9 million at risk this Christmas.

Card-not-present fraud occurs when shopper's credit card details are stolen and used to make payments, either over the phone, by post or more predominantly, online.

This type of fraud has nearly tripled in the past five years.

The report also found that almost two-thirds (62%) of online card scams involved overseas fraudsters.

Fraudulent card-not-present transactions on cards issued by the international card schemes (Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Diners) increased a staggering 40% to $136.7 million in 2015.

Here are some tips, indicating what you should do if you suspect you're the victim of cyber crime:

  • Monitor your credit card account - Looking through your bank statements can seem tedious, but doing it regularly could save you time and money in the long run. If you notice a suspicious transaction (such as a purchase at a store you haven't visited), contact your provider immediately.
  • Contact your bank immediately - Before you call, make sure to have all of the details regarding the transaction (including the date, amount and location). It’s important to do this as soon as possible, as it can take up to 40 days for banks to return funds to victims of fraudulent transactions.
  • Know your rights - Depending on your provider and the incident that has occurred, you should be covered by fraud protection services that will ensure that your stolen funds are returned to you. Investigations will vary from bank to bank so it’s important to know what you're entitled to in order to get the most out of the cover.

Report scams or check the validity of a communication by visiting the government's Scamwatch website.

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