Online credit card fraud booming

The value of online fraud, using Australian credit cards and Visa and MasterCard debit cards, soared 31% over the past year to hit a record high of $40 million in 2006-07.

The figures come from the Australian Payments Clearing Association, which along with the credit companies, has been quick to try to calm consumers concerns.

“There is no general cause for alarm,” MasterCard spokesman Albert Naffah told The Australian Financial Review.

APCA chief executive Chris Hamilton said that although the spike in fraudulent online payments this year was significant, Australian online card fraud rates remained proportionally much lower than Europe.

Australia has nine fraudulent transactions per 100,000, compared to Britain which has 141 fraudulent transactions per 100,000.

What is called card-not-present fraud is growing compared to the old-fashioned credit card fraud at the retail point of sale, representing 54% of last year’s total card fraud.

Scams are shifting from skimming, which duplicates data from a magnetic stripe on a payment card, to lesser value transactions on store cards and prepaid gift cards. The average value of a fraud transaction last year was $265, according to the APCA figures.


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