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Tap and Steal crimewave continues into hard lockdown

The $200 limit for contactless payments with no PIN or signature has led to an increase in police reports of card fraud and theft involving contactless cards.

Even during Victoria’s hard lock-down, with all but essential businesses closed to the public, the crime wave is continuing.   

*Found by Next Payments researchers (July numbers are up to 22 July)
The latest official card fraud statistics from the payments industry self-regulator Auspaynet (from 2019) show this kind of theft was in decline before COVID-19.
Yesterday two more reports from Melbourne’s South East – Kew and Frankston - have added to the deluge of warnings and public posts from police about contactless card fraud and the $200 limit for no-PIN transactions.

Since 3 April when the limit was doubled from $100 to $200, criminals seem to have targeted PayWave and Tap & Go cards. A criminal can now make numerous transactions of up to $200 each in minutes after stealing a card.

“The $200 limit has led to people’s cars being broken into, handbags stolen and criminals running rampant in our streets, suburbs and shops,” said Tim Wildash, Chief Executive Officer of Next Payments, Australia’s leading independent ATM network.

“The $200 limit has turned Tap & Go cards into Tap & Steal goldmines for criminals. Five transactions can mean $1,000 is gone in a matter of minutes,” said Tim Wildash.

“Banks cover theft from bank accounts but do they cover the costs of broken car windows, lost handbags and personal possessions?

“Tap and Steal card fraud is spiking and the banks don’t seem to want to tell us much about it. I am calling for the no-PIN limit for contactless payment to return to $100. Too many people are becoming victims of crime.” 

For more comments, interview or information:

Tim Wildash - 0418 336 599 twildash@nextpayments.com.au

New Zealand: Craig Whale - 0421 440 683 cwhale@nextpayments.co.nz

Jason Bryce, Journalist - 0428 777 727 media@nextpayments.com.au