Police urge Aussies to use Tap n’ Go to prevent fraud

Police across NSW are urging Aussies to use tap n’ go with their credit cards to prevent fraud through “ghost” terminals.

“Ghost” terminals are electronic devices crafted to copy a card’s magnetic strip and PIN.

The warning came in response to the rising number of investigations across Sydney’s south-west for fraudulent ATM withdrawals by the NSW detective fraud squad.

Credit card hackers are now cloning credit and debit cards by stripping the data and PINs from legitimate cards, then syncing the information onto cheap, loyalty cards bought from stores reported the ABC.

“For a cloned card to be used in an ATM they need to have two pieces of information. They need to have the information on the magnetic strip and your PIN - if they don’t have your PIN they can’t make the transaction,” said Acting Superintendent, Matt Craft.

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Craft went on to explain that hackers are retrieving the information through skimming devices that are attached to ATM and EFTPOS terminals as well as “ghost” terminals.

“It’s about reducing the opportunity for criminal syndicates to get access to your PIN by covering it and making sure people can’t see you enter your PIN.”

According to Craft, magnetic strips are “old technology” and that credit card users should be looking to use their card’s security chip whenever possible.

“You need to be very cautious about using those devices and wherever you can, you should use the chip and tap - that’s the most secure way.”

As hackers are getting more savvy when it comes to stealing credit card details, now might be a good time to have a quick refresh on your card safety knowledge. You can read our quick tips down below or check out our guide on what you can do to protect your card details:

  • Do not share your password or PIN number with anyone
  • Never disclose your card details over the phone
  • Avoid suspicious ATMs and card readers
  • Avoid using predictable or obvious PINs
  • Regularly check your bank statement for any unusual behaviour

What to do if you think you've been a victim of credit card fraud:

  • If you’ve noticed a number of random purchases charged to your card from an unknown company, contact your bank immediately and report the purchases  
  • Request a new credit card and change your PIN and passwords
  • Take a look at your credit history to make sure there aren’t any unexplained marks on your credit file

Thinking about getting a new credit card? Check out our credit card comparison tool.