online shopping

Online shopping tips to avoiding cyber crime

Tips on avoiding cyber crime when online shopping in the lead up to Christmas and beyond!

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If your credit card has ever been used to buy things by a cyber thief than you’re not alone, online shopping is being increasingly targeted by cyber criminals with a potential $34.9 million at risk this Christmas.

I recall one hacking experience, I literally watched my online banking dollars slip away as a fraudster shopped up a storm at Aldis – boring! – with my money before my accounts were closed off.

Amazingly it took my bank six weeks to reverse what had been taken because “thems” the rules. Shocking!

Cyber attacks on Australian credit cards used domestically shot up nearly 40 per cent to $136.7 million, according to data compiled by financial comparison website

Indeed the level of fraud committed when shoppers buy online, by phone or by post climbed by 21 per cent last year to reach $363 million – with 62 per cent of it taking place offshore.

Bessie Hassan, spokesperson at, says Christmas shoppers are at risk of falling victim to cybercrime as offenders migrate online.

“While microchip technology has made in-person transactions safer, it has lead to more fraudsters targeting shoppers online.”

In 2010, an estimated $131 million was stolen online compared to $363 million in 2015. The equivalent of $6.30 for every credit card and debit card in Australia.

“It’s a wake up call for Australian consumers. Online shopping is more popular than ever and some consumers are too complacent with who they give their credit card details to,” says Ms Hassan.”

There are now 16.6 million credit cards and 43.2 million debit cards in circulation in Australia – with 584 million purchases already in the 7 months to July 2016.

Here’s tips on how to avoid getting scammed.

If it looks dodgy – don’t

Let’s face it some websites have better online transaction security than others. So if you are ever in doubt with a particular company, don’t use your credit card online.

Monitor your transactions

Looking through your bank statements can seem tedious, but doing it regularly could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Often cyber criminals will start with small transactions of $1 here and there to test how much money you have in an account before building up to a bit shopping spree.

Contact your bank ASAP

If you suspect a fraudulent transaction using your card has occurred online, contact your bank immediately.

Before you call, make sure to have all of the details regarding the transaction, including the date, amount and location – even better if you are looking at your online banking screen as you report the incident.

It’s important to do this as soon as possible, as it can take up to six weeks for banks to return funds to victims of fraudulent transactions.

They’ll also likely to be running a check on you too just to make sure that you’re not lying about what’s happened.

Stand up for your rights

Depending on your provider and the incident that has occurred, you should be covered by fraud protection services that will ensure that your stolen funds are returned to you in time.

Do yourself a favour an know your rights for this type of cover and if you need to get the police involved, do it immediately.

Also you can report online incidents to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

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