Growing Online Credit Card Fraud Reaches A$417 Million In Australia

Online credit card fraud in Australia has reached A$417.6 million in 2016, double of what it was six years ago.

According to the 2016 Australian Payments Fraud Data Report, Australians spent a record total of A$714.5 billion via cards in 2016 with fraudulent transactions accounting for A$534 million from this amount.

The rate of card fraud is up to 74.7 cents per A$1000, an increase from 66.9 cents in 2015.

Released by an industry body known as the Australian Payments Network, the report shows that stolen card details is the most common form of fraud accounting for around 78 percent of all fraudulent card transactions. Called ‘card not present’ this form of fraud has gone up in 2016, reaching A$417.

In ‘card not present’ fraud, a customer's valid card details are stolen and typically used online for making purchases without having the card. Although the extent of counterfeit cards and skimming fraud in Australia is low as compared to international standards, the report pointed out that credit card crime had seen an increase in 2016 due to increasing use of ghost terminals.

Ghost terminals are fake machines which are not connected to payments network and are used to skimcard details. According to the report, card skimming via ghost terminals in Australia has gone up by 13 percent. It also highlighted that banks and retail merchants were being exposed to new criminal methods on a regular basis. AusPayNet CEO Leila Fourie stated that while robust anti-fraud measures are available within Australia, the dramatic jump in fraudulent transactions was worrisome.

In a statement Fourie said,

Card-not-present fraud continues to grow as perpetrators follow increased payments activity online. Australia compares favorably to the UK and US when it comes to fraud rates — and the industry is continuing its efforts to provide fraud prevention strategies that adapt to changing payments trends. As Australia transitions towards even higher levels of online payments, customers and merchants need to increase security awareness.

Fourie noted that ghost terminals were typically utilized by globally syndicated fraud outfits that are highly sophisticated and operate online. She highlighted that the fake terminals used by them looked so authentic that most people aren’t able to tell the difference.

The report found that Australia is well ahead in fraud detection as the payments industry has invested in token, chip and customer authentication tools. AusPayNet has announced that an education program is being planned to help businesses and consumers secure their card details and online identities.