How to Protect Yourself From Fraud
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Fraud Survey 2010-11 show that personal fraud is on the rise, with credit card fraud reporting the highest increase.
An estimated 1.2 million Australians aged 15 years and over have been a victim of personal fraud in 2010/2011 an increase of five per cent compared to figures from 2007 – causing an overall financial loss of $1.4 billion. Credit card fraud is the most common form of personal fraud, affecting 3.7 per cent ofthe population (662,300 Australians), compared to 2.4 per cent in 2007 (383,300 Australians).
Wayne Matters, Chief Financial Officer at leading credit union Community CPS Australia, says that while some credit card fraud schemes are very complex, caution and close attention to how you use your credit card can help to reduce the risk of fraud. “There are a few simple ways to ensure that your card details are safe and don’t fall into the wrong hands,” said Mr Matters.
1. Never let your card out of your sight during any transaction. That means if you’re at a shop, watch the sales assistant, and if you’re at a restaurant,go to the counter and pay the bill – this is particularly important if you are overseas where you could be identified as a tourist and a ‘soft target’.
2. If you’re buying goods online, make sure the site is reputable and well-established. Be wary of unfamiliar sites that are identified through searches – giving them your credit card details is the same as sharing your card number with a stranger on the street.
3. Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer as viruses can be used to obtain personal information.
4. Put a padlock on your home letterbox so that your credit card statement, which contains your card number and full name, or any other sensitive personal mail, cannot be stolen.
5. Never, ever, write your PIN down anywhere or share it with anyone.
6. Use internet banking to regularly check that only your transactions are going through your credit card.
About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP
The Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia.
The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods).
For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au