Credit and Debit card fraud are on the rise in Australia. We look at six simple strategies you can take to protect yourself and your finances.
Card fraud is increasing
The total cost to Australians of personal fraud last financial year was $1.4 billion.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2010-11 Personal Fraud Survey, estimated that a total of 1.2 million Australians were victims of at least one incident of personal fraud in the 12 months prior; an increase from 806,000 victims in the 2007 report.
Of those, more than 660,000 Australians suffered from credit card fraud in that time. That is 3.7 per cent of the eligible population (15 and over), up from only 2.4 per cent of Australians in 2007.
Card not present
The biggest growth in card crime was Card Not Present (CNP) fraud. Card Not Present, means credit or debit card transactions during which the cardholder is not physically at the point of purchase and so the card is not seen or swiped. CNP fraud now accounts for 71 per cent of fraud value on Australian credit, debit and charge cards. This is largely due to the boom in Australians shopping online thanks to the high Australian dollar, with more than half occurring overseas; in particular, on overseas websites.
Tackling the problem
The Australian Payments Clearing Association (ACPA), is the payments industry self-regulatory body, which operates across all financial institutions to help inform and protect Australian consumers and businesses. Their CEO, Chris Hamilton, believes it’s important to address this issue head on, “Tackling CNP fraud requires effort from everyone, from the retailer, through financial institutions and card schemes right to the consumer”.
“We need Australians to know that the tools to help protect against CNP fraud are readily available today. If you are a retailer selling online or a consumer shopping online, you need to be using these tools as well as other practical measures to stay safe in this rapidly growing environment,” said Mr Hamilton.
6 ways to you can protect yourself against CNP fraud
Here are 6 recommendations for CommBank credit card customers:
- Register for additional online fraud prevention solutions like NetCode , which helps reduce the risk of fraud and use them whenever prompted. NetCode then sends an instant, one-time password to your registered mobile phone. This password is only valid for 30 seconds, and a new password is required for every purchase.
- Only deal with merchants you trust, such as those with a reputable trading name or brand, or merchants you have previously purchased from by phone or in store.When shopping online – only provide your card details on secure websites – look for an ‘HTTPS’ within the address bar or a locked padlock icon.
- Set up online statements so you can check your transactions regularly and contact us on 13 2221 as soon as you notice any suspicious transactions.
- Contact CommBank immediately if you have lost your card. We can put a temporary hold on all use if you think you will find it again. In the meantime, you are protected against any unauthorised use.
- Let CommBank know when you are travelling overseas. By giving us your travel dates and destinations, you put an extra protection in place against unauthorised transactions.
- Keep your contact details updated. For your security, CommBank monitors your accounts, 24/7 looking for any abnormal transactions or spend patterns. If you know you will be in a new area or buying big ticket items in a way you wouldn’t normally for example, let us know and if we notice a suspicious transaction on your account we will notify you immediately to confirm if the transaction is valid.
If by chance you become a victim of credit or debit card fraud, it’s important to know that CommBank offers a 100% money back guarantee on all fraudulent transactions if you comply with the credit card conditions of use.
Find out more about card security at: http://www.commbank.com.au/personal/credit-cards/get-more/card-security/faqs.aspx
ABS released Fraud stats in April: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbyReleaseDate/B634CE9C7619C801CA25747400263E7E?OpenDocument