Fraud

Save yourself from fraud

Article written by Madelaine Wong

Have you ever stood at the cash register frantically trying to swipe your card as it repeatedly declines? Your first thought is it’s not my card it’s your machine! But when you realise it’s not the machine and it is in fact your card you come face to face with the harsh reality that you – yes you, may have become a victim of credit card fraud.

I know you thought this would never happen to you, I mean you didn’t even consider it. But the fact is credit card fraud is common in Australia. Trust me, I’ve been there.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) in 2013 there was a total of $1,844,552,248 in credit card fraud.

Sadly, with today’s advanced technology credit card fraud rates are increasing, but it’s Mastercard and the big four banks that are getting slammed. Technology comes with a price and that is security. This can be understood from social media.

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But this all depends on the way each bank deals with its customers who have fallen victim. I was generally pleased with how my bank dealt with my case. Although it was a lengthy process, my money was reimbursed.

It’s not necessarily the bank’s fault that you have fallen victim to fraud. Often people aren’t aware of the dangers and make simple mistakes. Credit card fraud is happening in places you’d never expect, and worse the fraudsters are people you may trust. This may include online websites, sales assistants and taxi drivers.

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Online shopping is becoming more popular, and this is opening a new portal for the fraudsters. Make sure the URL looks normal and is one of the first to come up onto the search engine. If you’re still unsure, make sure you search reviews. And use internet security software that’s rated well by critics, like F-Secure’s SAFE.

Additionally, you should regularly check your bank statements even for small amounts added like $90c. If you ever find yourself a victim make sure to contact your bank.

Ok now taxi drivers. I didn’t even consider taxi drivers to be apart of the realm of fraudsters but they are. I made the mistake of being utterly dismissive or at the least unaware, and became a victim of credit card fraud. So firstly, keep checking the monitor to ensure their charge doesn’t dramatically increase, but also if they ask for your card to swipe it themselves make sure it’s in sight at all times.

I’ll admit I felt apprehensive when one of my taxi drivers ‘held’ my card whilst printing out the receipt which was strangely positioned below the steering wheel and taking suspiciously long…

Next time you find yourself giving personal details to a dodgy website or cab driver think again, be prepared and don’t blame your bank.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

Feature image sourced from vosa.com