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1 in 4 Australians victims of credit card fraud

Research has found 25% of Australians have experienced credit card theft and of those, almost 50% had up to $300 stolen.

Latest research from creditcardfinder.com.au suggests about 25% of card users had more than $1,000 stolen at any one time. Australian Payments and Clearing Association research has found that in the 2012 financial year, there were more than 1.1 million fraudulent transactions on scheme credit, debit and charge cards, totalling more than $227 million. But according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, credit card fraud is one of the most under-reported crimes in Australia, with more than half of incidents believed to never be reported.

There are more than 15.2 million credit cards nationally, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, and in the month of February alone, were used more than 117 million times.

Creditcardfinder’s publisher Jeremy Cabral has told news.com.au that consumers need to be much more careful as to where they store their credit card details. He added that Australians are generally not as cautious as they should be around the internet with their information. Mr Cabral says plastic users should thoroughly read their credit card statements each month to ensure no fraud has occurred without them knowing – all activity is recorded on the statements.

Here are some more simple tips to prevent becoming one of the next Australians subject to credit card fraud.

  • Never let your card out of sight, including restaurants, cafes, nightclubs or hotels.
  • Treat your credit card like a national treasure.
  • Never click on email links prompting you to check or update your details on your online/offline account.
  • Always sign your new card as soon as you get it.
  • If you shop online, always check that the site is a https:// (secure site) as opposed to a http:// (normal site).

Foolish takeaway

Common sense is one of the most important ways of stopping credit card thieves. As an example, it’s not a good idea to write your pin on the back of your credit card, or store your pin on a piece of paper in your wallet or purse.

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