Online shoppers beware! Huge increase in internet credit card fraud detected

New research by Finder has revealed more Aussies are being scammed through online shopping. Source: Getty

Aussies with a love of online shopping are being warned to exert caution when making purchases following a significant increase in cyber crime in recent times.

While it may be a whole lot simpler and easier to click a few buttons and hand over credit card details than actually shop in a store, there are major risks involved with online shopping.

In fact, according to a study undertaken by Finder, fraud is becoming a huge problem for Australians and many are falling into the trap of cruel scammers. 

Statistics from the Australian Payments Network has revealed “card not present” fraud has surged from 1.02 million transactions in the 2016/17 financial year to 1.8 million transactions in the 2017/18 financial year. This represents an increase of a staggering 76 per cent year on year.

Shockingly, Aussies were conned out of $249 million in the 12 months from July 1, 2017 to June 30 2018 resulting in a 28 per cent jump, which is $54 million more fraud in one calendar year.

Finder editor-in-chief Angus Kidman expressed his concern over these statistics and said unfortunately, many people have experienced unauthorised transactions on credit cards, or at least know someone who has.

“Fraudsters acquire credit card details, make a small purchase to ensure the card will work and the start making much bigger purchases until the scam is uncovered and the card is cancelled,” he explained. “You should be just as concerned about leaving your credit card unattended at a bar as you are about using it online.”

Unfortunately, online fraud now accounts for 85 per cent of all fraud on Australian cards and is up from 82 per cent year on year. Kidman said customers should act quickly if they notice any suspicious activity on their card.

Read more: Scam alert! Worrying new email scam targeting innocent Aussies

“Credit card fraud can happen to anyone,” he explained. “There are security measures in place to protect you like zero liability policies to indemnify you against fraudulent charges made on your card.”

Thankfully there are some steps you can take to limit the chances of becoming a victim of online fraud, and they are very simple.

Firstly, it’s important to look for “https” not “http” addresses online. The added “s” means extra security. Next, its smart to look through your bank statements to make sure no suspicious transactions have been made, and if you spot one, report it to your bank immediately.

In no cases should a person provide details via email, such as credit card or bank account details. No reputable seller deals this way and emails aren’t very secure. Another critical step is to obtain a credit report to verify that your details have not been used to open fraudulent accounts.

And lastly, don’t sign blank receipts. According to Finder, some hotels still require their guests to sign blank receipts when they check in. This should never be done, and if you are ordered to do so, ask the person you’re dealing with to enter an amount instead. When you check out, make sure the receipt is ripped up or shredded.

Read more: Online trolls and cyberbullies: How your behaviour matters

Do you online shop? Have you ever been a victim to online fraud?

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