Credit card fraud 'is now massively widespread'

Credit card fraud has become a pervasive, widespread problem in Australian life, a specialist has said.

Chris Taylor, a Caloundra resident and author of Crime of the Time, a new book aimed at helping consumers and businesses protect themselves from credit card and cyber fraud, suggested the practice is now committed by a diverse set of groups and individuals.

"From bored teenagers, highly sophisticated mafias, organised gangs and drug addicts to conmen, recession-stretched individuals and even terrorists, this is the crime of choice for a lot of society," he told the Sunshine Coast Daily.

"We're now in a global society and someone from Russia could use your information for anything, it's a fact of life today."

Such comments may interest consumers looking to compare credit cards in search of the best providers. Mr Taylor, who has worked as a credit card fraud and e-crime investigator for the Veda Advantage credit bureau, among others, also urged businesses to take simple steps to prevent fraud – such as checking that the delivery address is the same as the cardholder's address.

In a move partly aimed at deterring fraudsters, Australians have recently been able to obtain special "speed shopping" credit cards that work by allowing shoppers to spend up to $100 by simply placing their plastic on a reader at a checkout.

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