In 2011, in Australia alone, scammers took $209 million in 861,700 fraudulent credit and debit charge card transactions (according to the Australian Payments Clearing Association).
Protect yourself with knowledge
The most common ways scammers obtain your credit card details are:
- Computer security – remotely installing spyware on your computers so they can see the files you use, websites you visit and information you store.
- ATM or Shop Skimming – running your card through a false ATM reader loaded on top of the real ATM reader (or taking your card out the back of the shop to run it through a second device).
- Email or phone – tricking you into telling them your credit card number and your security code (the three-digit code on the back of your card), usually by pretending to be your bank or another company
- Card theft – if you lose or have your wallet / purse stolen.
- Unsecured websites – accessing details from your online shopping activities on unsecured sites.
What NOT to do:
- Never give your PIN to anyone.
- Never let anyone see you enter your PIN into an ATM (cover your hand).
- Never give out personal, credit card or online account details to a caller on the phone unless you made the call.
- Never use computers in libraries or internet cafes for your online banking.
- Never give out personal, credit card or online account details in response to an email.
What to do:
- Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to work out.
- Have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer.
- Be wary of opening emails from unknown senders.
- Be wary when installing applications onto your phone. The latest mobile phone scammers send you applications designed to download malicious software and steal bank account details.
- Check your bank account statements regularly. If there are any purchases you cannot account for, report them to your bank.
Think You Have Been Scammed?
• Report it to your bank.
• File a police report.
• Get a copy of your credit report – check that no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts.
• Warn your family and friends.
What are your thoughts?
Are you concerned about credit card scams? Did we leave anything out? Is there anything else you’d like to know about fraud? Do you have any other credit card questions?