Media Release

‘Tis the season to be scammed: Aussies could be conned out of $34.9 million this Christmas

  • Online credit card fraud rate almost triples in five years
  • Chip-enabled credit cards lead to dramatic increase in card-not-present fraud
  • Tips: What to do if you suspect you are the victim of cybercrime

24 October, 2016, Sydney, Australia – A dramatic increase in online fraud has prompted a warning to those buying goods over the internet this Christmas, according to, Australia’s most visited comparison website1 .

Online shoppers are being increasingly targeted by cyber criminals with a potential $34.9 million* at risk this Christmas.

Card-not-present fraud – when shoppers hand over their details online, by phone or by post – climbed by 21 per cent last year to reach $363 million - with 62% involving overseas fraudsters.

Cyber attacks on Australian credit cards used domestically shot up nearly 40% to $136.7 million.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at, says Christmas shoppers are at risk of falling victim to cybercrime as offenders migrate online.

“While microchip technology has made in-person transactions safer, it has lead to more fraudsters targeting shoppers online.

“Chip technology and mandatory use of pin numbers is making it much harder to steal data at the terminal but it’s been a bittersweet move for online shoppers as card-not-present fraud continues to rise,” she says.

Card-not-present fraud (which could also mean online fraud) now accounts for 79% of all Australian card fraud. analysis shows card-not-present fraud has nearly tripled in the past five years.

In 2010 $131 million was stolen online compared to $363 million in 2015. The equivalent of $6.30 for every credit card and debit card in Australia.

“It’s a wake up call for Australian consumers. Online shopping is more popular than ever and some consumers are too complacent with who they give their credit card details to.”

There are now 16.6 million credit cards and 43.2 million debit cards in circulation in Australia – with 584 million purchases already in the 7 months to July 2016.

What to do if you suspect you are 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 a lot of time and money in the long run. Most banks let you view your statement easily online or via an app, so you should have no trouble browsing through your transactions on your phone at the end of each week. 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 If you suspect a fraudulent transaction using your card has occurred online, 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. The sooner your bank starts the investigation, the sooner you’ll get your money.
  • 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. The process for notifying your bank, investigating the incident and what you’re covered by will vary from bank to bank. So it’s important to know your rights before you make the call to your bank so you can get the most out of the cover.

*finder analysis of APCA Australian Payments Fraud, Details and Data 2016 report

1Experian Hitwise since 2015


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