30% of Aussies to shop online more: But online fraud is also rising

By Polly Fleeting ·

With the number of online retailers growing and COVID-19 keeping Aussies indoors, many consumers are now opting to shop from home almost exclusively.   

In fact, almost a third (30%) of Australian shoppers plan to make more online purchases in the future, according to Mastercard research. Similarly, another report revealed that 38% believe that less in-store shopping is a trend that is here to stay. 

However, with more digital spending unfortunately comes more opportunity for online scammers. Mastercard also found that card-not-present fraud accounts for a whopping 86% of all payment fraud on Australian cards. These types of scams refer to when card details are used without a physical card being presented to a retailer and amount to a huge $500 million each year. 

“While COVID-19 social distancing has had a major impact on businesses like gyms, restaurants, cafes and shops, it’s no surprise that online retailers are receiving more attention as Aussies shop from the comfort of their couch,” Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont says 

“Some customers may be seasoned online shoppers while others are just testing the waters. It’s important for all Aussies to stay alert when providing a website with their debit or credit card details. 

“Either shop with stores you know or ensure you do your research into a site before giving out your card information.” 

Tips to keeping your card cyber-safe  

Whether you spend with a debit or credit card when you shop online, it’s important to know how to be cyber-savvy. 

Vice president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard Australasia, Mallika Sathi has some top tips to avoiding online scams and keeping your card information protected. 

Research the retailer you are buying from 

“When it comes to spending online, do some quick desktop research to ensure that you are dealing with a trusted and reliable business,” she says. 

It’s crucial to verify that the company you are buying from is actually a legitimate one. Before going through with a purchase online, look at customer feedback and reviews, if the website is dodgy someone has likely written about it. 

Also be aware of any unexpected emails or pop-ups containing links, it’s always best to avoid clicking on these as they may contain malware that can damage your device or steal your data. 

Check the website is secure 

Sathi explains that when you hit the online checkout, it’s important to double check that you are entering your details into a secure web page. 

“You can spot this from the ‘https://’ at the beginning of the address bar and/or a picture of a locked padlock in the browser,” she says. 

“When shopping online, your bank may prompt you to enter a one-time code, via SMS, to confirm that it is really you making an online payment.” 

Many banks and card providers have fraud detection technologies in place to identify unsafe retailers. However, if you are unsure about the security measures of a particular website when entering your card details, trust your gut and don’t hit ‘pay’.   

Find out if your card is protected 

“In the event that your payment details are compromised, make sure you’re protected by industry policies,” Sathi says.  

For example, Mastercard offers a Zero Liability card protection which means that the cardholder isn’t held liable in the case of card fraud or unauthorised transactions. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your card provider and ask them what sort of protection you have. Similarly, if you see any unknown purchases on your bank or credit card statements, make sure to notify your bank immediately. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Online shopping could make us cashless by 2021

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Polly Fleeting
Polly Fleeting
Money writer

Polly Fleeting is a personal finance writer here at Mozo, specialising in loans and credit cards. Her work is aimed at helping people find ways to make smart product choices, reduce debt and get more for their hard-earned dollars. Polly has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.