Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop concept for network security, identity theft and computer crime.
Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop concept for network security, identity theft and computer crime.

Latest online shopping scams targeting Australians

MALICIOUS software and phishing attacks are some of the most popular scams catching out Australian online shoppers and robbing them of their hard-earned funds.

Fraudsters are using advanced technology to capture customers' card data and passwords - it makes up 85 per cent of all fraud committed on Australian cards.

Experts urge anyone conversing or making transactions online to be extra vigilant as fraud rates are rising.

Latest statistics from the Australian Payments Network's Australian Payment Fraud 2018 report found we are using plastic to pay for items more than ever before.

More than $748.1 billion was transacted on Australian cards in 2017 - an increase of five per cent compared to previous years.

Total online card fraud also increased to $476.3 million in 2017 - up 13.9 per cent.

This has given fraudsters more chance to pounce as electronic payments increase.

APN's chief executive officer Dr Leila Fourie urged Australians to update their security software and ensure they protect themselves.

"Do full scans on a very regular basis," she said.

"Often card details are stolen from customers either online or in a face-to-face environment and those card details are used online.

"Because more and more people are shopping online, card fraud is aligning with that shopping trend."

As more Australian’s shop online, the risk of losing money to scammers is higher. Picture: Supplied.
As more Australian’s shop online, the risk of losing money to scammers is higher. Picture: Supplied.

The report showed the average value of a fraudulent transaction fell from $188 to $157 since 2016.

The most popular types of card fraud are card-not-present fraud - where card details are used without the physical card being present (85 per cent), followed by lost and stolen cards (7 per cent) and counterfeit/skimming (6 per cent.)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's deputy chair Delia Rickard said there are a couple of ways to protect yourself.

"If anyone contacts you out of the blue asking for personal information like your credit card details, don't hand it over no matter who they claim to be," she said.

"If you do think you have given over sensitive information or you've been a victim of credit card fraud, contact your bank as soon as possible to report it."

Westpac's head of digital security Josh Nast said if you are moving money online to be careful.

"If you do have a BSB number and account number and think that's not right please send it through to your financial institution or the financial institution that owns the BSB and account number," he said.

He said if it is a suspicious account it should be reported and help protect other Australians from potential fraudsters.

To report a scam visit scamwatch.gov.au.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth



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