Recent figures released by the Australian Payments Clearance Association (APCA) show that credit and debit card fraud may have dropped in the twelve months to June this year.
Recent figures released by the Australian Payments Clearance Association (APCA) show that credit and debit card fraud may have dropped in the twelve months to June this year. Card fraud amounted to $285 million in the 2011-12 financial year, down from the $305 million reported from December 2010 to December 2011.
At $263 million, credit cards accounted for 97 per cent of the total and debit cards the remaining 3 per cent, or $22 million. While this amount is large, an amazing $1.8 trillion was spent in the 2011–12 financial year on cards and cheques according to the APCA. The average amount by which people are defrauded also fell, from $365 to $225, a result of criminals trying to disguise the fraudulent transactions amongst legitimate spending.
Transactions completed by mail or phone using cards are most susceptible to fraud, but as Australians adapt more to online shopping, more challenges are faced. Fraudulent dealings over the internet are often with nameless, untraceable companies and organisations, which often have no physical address.
Chief Executive of the APCA Chris Hamilton said, ''We understand there has been an increase in skimming activity at ATMs, in petrol stations and in taxis. Consumers can help stay safe by keeping their card in sight when making payments and always covering their hand when entering their PIN at point-of-sale terminals and ATMs.''
Read more at TheAge.com.au
Reports that credit and debit card fraud have dropped appear at first reading to be good news. However, before you start throwing your plastic around, you should be aware of the dangers.
Anyone who has had their card skimmed, cloned, or paid for goods only to have them not turn up, will understand how frustrating and confusing this can be. Many people believe they are savvy to the ways of the world and would spot a con as soon as look at it, but people are still getting caught out. And this is the reason why any figures quoted on credit and debit card fraud need to be looked at more closely. The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce states on its website, ‘Although estimates have been made of the total cost of fraud and also identity-related fraud, we simply do not know how many consumers are victimised through scams and how much money they have lost. Many consumers also don't report their experiences to the police, which makes calculations based on official crime statistics even less reliable.’ If this is accepted as the norm, then how can any figures be reported as credible?
Each week a new scam is reported, and as soon as a scam is uncovered and publicised, scammers move on to their next target. Scammers are unscrupulous and also, in most cases, incredibly clever. Using technology most of us can only dream of, they can access your personal data, get details of your credit and bank cards and take you for as much money as they think they can get away with. We are expected to rejoice that the average amount taken has reduced from $365 to $225, but how many people can afford to have any amount taken from their account?
With Christmas just around the corner, the opportunities for scammers to catch people out are multiple. More people are shopping online for bargains, people feel more benevolent to hard luck stories and the chance to make a few extra dollars can be all to appealing. So, before you hand over your hard-earned cash for goods, services or charity, make sure you know what you’re doing by reading Drew’s Top five tips for staying safe online.
Have you been the victim of a fraud you didn’t report? Do you feel safe using your credit or debit card online?
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