Figures from the Australian Payments and Clearing Association reveal $89 million dollars in card-not-present credit card fraud for the year 2013. A further #13.5 million was stolen through skimming on debit cards.

These figures were released with a warning to consumers to be wary when transacting in person as well as online.

The increase in internet shopping has created lucrative new scams. Shoppers need to be wary. While most banks will cover all loss of money in cases of fraud, they will do so only where the customer can show they have not contributed to the crime.

This is placing more and more responsibility on customers, as banks (like insurance companies) make instant profits when they can plausibly reject claims.

Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, warns

ACCC Deputy Chairperson Delia Rickard. Photo: www.smh.com.au

ACCC Deputy Chairperson Delia Rickard. Photo: www.smh.com.au

people to be careful about responding to emails requesting their bank details. “If you get a reclaim scam telling you you are entitled to a refund, for example overpaid taxes or overpaid banking fees, they will often tell you the amount you are owed. But to get it they may ask for your credit card number or link you through to what looks like a legitimate website which asks you to include your banking details.”

Once the scammers have these details they have a number of options open to them. In recent times scammers wouldn’t even take money from the account. Instead they would apply for personal loans using the fraudulently acquired information. Culpability for the lost money is then thrashed out in a complicated, extended and expensive trial.

With mobile shopping becoming increasingly available scammers are finding new ways to access your financial information. “Treat your smartphone like your wallet,” says National Australia Bank’s head of financial crime, Grant Baxter. “It has a lot of information on it and if it gets into the wrong hands it can be used to commit fraud.”

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