25.3% of Australians have experienced credit card fraud, according to a new survey of over 1,000 Australian consumers carried out by Finder.com.au. 47.2% of the fraud victims had up to $300 fraudulently transacted from their card, and a further 24.59% had over $1,000 stolen. 91.8% of those who experienced fraud said they knew how to handle the situation, but how can consumers prevent fraud from occurring in the first place?
Jeremy Cabral, Publisher of leading credit card comparison website, Finder.com.au says, “Credit card fraud is an unfortunate evil on the rise that consumers must battle with. The exponential increase in online shopping has left us even more vulnerable to crafty hackers who want nothing more than to steal card details and money. There are some simple ways that Australians can become savvier in order to protect themselves from fraud.” Mr. Cabral has the following advice for consumers looking to safeguard themselves against credit card fraud:
- Review your statement regularly
Review each and every credit card statement to make sure that your charges match up to what you’ve spent. Inform your bank or credit union immediately if you do notice any suspicious activity when you review your statement. The sooner you inform your bank, the less time these scammers have to abuse your credit card details and the less money they can steal from you.
- Never click on email links prompting you to ‘check your account’
This is a phishing attack which refers to emails that trick people into handing over their personal and banking information. Avoid emails that are asking you to update your information as it may be an attempt to steal your personal information.
- Make sure the website that you use is secure
Always make sure you check the URL/web address of the website you’re on before you enter your personal or credit card details. Some scam websites will alter a letter or two in the web address to trick you into thinking they’re the legitimate source. They can look identical to the original website, but that tiny change in the web address means that it’s a completely different website. You could be buying something from a website that was created solely for stealing your credit card details.
- Stay alert when using an ATM
Don't let your card get skimmed. This is where someone copies the details from the magnetic strip on your card when you use an ATM. Check your surroundings when using an ATM look out for anything unusual such as the card reader and area above the screen. Also use your hand to cover your PIN.
- Never give your details to untrustworthy sources
It may seem like obvious advice, but handing over even the smallest of personal details can potentially have devastating effects in the wrong hands. If you don’t trust someone completely, don’t give them access to your card or personal details. Even seemingly insignificant details like your birthday or address should be safeguarded.
“If you notice any suspicious activity on your credit card, inform your bank immediately. The sooner you inform the bank, the less time scammers have to abuse your credit card details and the less money they can steal. Ultimately, being smart about how you use your card, and taking care of the card physically, will help shield you from fraud,” concludes Mr. Cabral.
Visit www.finder.com.au/credit-cards/credit-card-fraud-traps-and-scams-guide for more details on how to protect yourself from credit card fraud.
Finder.com.au is a free service which since 2006 has helped over 4.8 million Australians save time and make an informed decision when comparing credit cards issued by Australian banks and credit unions.