Credit card fraud

Yep. It can happen to the most careful of us all. Credit card fraud is not new, and will never really end. As users who enjoy it’s many conveniences, we’ve just got to become more savvy about how we use them. And when we say savvy, we also mean clever and responsible.

What’s credit card fraud anyway?

You probably don’t need us to elaborate too much, but of course we’re talking about when your credit card is used without your permission. It's crazy to think that it’s even possible. I mean, you wouldn’t go up to a lady, quietly sitting at a cafe, minding her own business, reading her book and casually take her wallet she’s not looking would you? No. It’s her property and she has every right to keep it that way.

So what gives fraudsters the right to our credit card information and personal details while we’re quietly going about our business? The Australian Crime Commission's (ACC) have identified a few different ways that crims take advantage of the unguarded and vulnerable. You can read further on this here.

Top 3 ways to help you make your credit card as safe as possible

With credit card fraud rife around the globe, it’s not surprising that there is a greater push than ever to move away from them as a payment method. One day we’ll be paying for goods and services with the tap of our smart phones and watches instead, eliminating both the need for both cash and credit cards. But there’s no telling when that will be, so in the meantime, below are some tips toward protecting your credit card as best as you can.

1. Online safety

Mozo can’t stress to you enough how important it is to download the right software and updates necessary to bring your smart devices and PCs up to speed with transacting online. If you don’t take the necessary steps to protecting your devices, you can virtually kiss your personal privacy and protection of your bank accounts goodbye.

How do can I protect my devices better?

If you want the convenience of shopping and banking online from the comfort of your own home or office, then you’ll need to download:

  • anti-malware/virus software
  • the latest software suitable for your PC or smart device.

If you’re not sure what to do, then ask a professional. If your computer is too old to support the updates, you may need to consider buying a new computer! If this is not within budget just now, then you really need to avoid using your credit card online. An alternative safe way of paying is with Paypal, so think about setting up an account if you don’t already have one. Bear in mind, not every online store has Paypal as a payment method.

Compare our top Credit Cards here:

Credit Card Comparison Table - last updated 24 October 2021

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Apply By 31 Oct 2021
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases for up to 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for up to 12 months. Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
    -
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  • Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 25 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
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  • MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    Use your virtual card instantly once approved (typically within 60 minutes). Features include Tap n Pay with up to 55 days interest-free, transfer money to any bank account and exclusive access to MoneyMe perks. $0 annual fee for lower limits. Must be employed with decent credit history.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
    -
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  • Apply By 10 Oct 2021
    humm90 Mastercard

    With up to 110 days interest free on your spending, this card is pretty unique in the market, and great for managing your daily spend. Plus, no foreign transaction fees overseas or online.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    23.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $99
    -
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate - Cashback Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus $400 Cashback with $4k+ spend on eligible purchases within 4 months of card approval. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Latitude Gem Visa

    Enjoy now. Pay later with Latitude. 0% interest for 6 months (purchases over $250). 0% interest payment plans at selected retailers. Up to 55 interest free days. Apply in less than 10 minutes. Must be over 18 to apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.95% p.a.
    No current offer
    $107 $8.95 monthly fee waived if outstanding balance less than $10
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 25 months, $0 annual fee for the first year and also receive 1 rewards point for every dollar spent. Purchase protection insurance. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $149 $0 in the first year
    Great Southen Bank Platinum Rewards
    Details
  • Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

    Enjoy 0% p.a on balance transfers for 15 months then 9.90% thereafter. No annual fee for the first year. Limited time only. Other fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Mastercard customers only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 15 months then 9.90% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 9.90% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Receive 10,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Mozo Experts Choice Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • HSBC Platinum Credit Card

    0%p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Terms and Conditions apply. Mozo Experts Choice Premium Rewards and Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 21.99% p.a.
    $129 $29 in the first year
    Rewards Plus
    Details
  • NAB StraightUp Card

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas. Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Innovation Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
    -
    Details
  • St.George No Annual Fee

    0% p.a. for 12 months on APR requested at card application. The special promotional purchase rate applies from card approval, after the promotional period, the rate will switch to the variable purchase rate. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends February 24th 2022.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $0
    -
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  • American Express Low Rate Credit Card

    Competitive low rate with $0 Annual Fee. Get $100 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,000 on your new Card by 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. Customers need an annual income of $50,000 or more.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends February 24th 2022.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 6 months then 13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • American Express Cashback Credit Card

    Get 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months and no monthly fee for the first 12 months. Additional 1.5% cashback with American Express Shop Small Campaign (conditions apply). Complimentary perks and insurances. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $0 in the first year
    Cashback Rewards
    Details
  • NAB Low Rate Card

    0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 32 months, plus a low ongoing purchase rate after that means you can spend with confidence. There's also up to 55 interest free days on purchases to help you manage your budget better.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    12.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.74% p.a. (0% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 24 Feb 2022
    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points ($4k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1% BT fee applies. $49 First Year Annual fee and Rewards fee. New cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $200 $99 in the first year
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details

Online tip 101:

Buying something online? Answering an online questionnaire or entering a competition online? Don’t even think about entering your personal information online unless the website is living within a safe page. How can you tell?

  • Always look for the ‘padlock’ symbol usually located in front of the url.
  • Another way to identify the safety of the site you’re on is if the url starts with https:// Think of the ‘s’ as standing for ‘safety’. So if there’s no ‘s’, then close the page and browse elsewhere.
  • Avoid using public WIFI for making online purchases or banking. Even filling out a form or signing up to a newsletter can be risky. There are professional crims out there who set up WIFI availability to lure people into using their network so that they can get full access to your online activity, emails and files. It’s best to stick to your own private mobile network when browsing online in a public space.

2. Complicate your password or PIN

Let’s just say the more interesting your password or PIN the more difficult it is for fraudsters to guess or ‘work out’. So if you’ve been in their sights for a while, and they have knowledge of your birthdate, the birthdate for your children and that of your partner's, chances are that if you use these or even a combination of these then if may be possible to eventually work it out.

So the best kind of password or PIN avoids all familiar pieces of your personal puzzle and is something a little more obscure. If permitted, use a combination of capital letters, symbols, numbers and letters is ideal. Also, changing your password every couple of months will really confuse them, so why not? Don’t be predictable!

When changing passwords, some people choose one that’s symbolic to what’s happening to their lives at that particular time. So if they're saving for a holiday, they may update the passwords for various accounts and credit cards to: $$4haWaii

Password tip 101:

It’s so tempting to allow the regular site you visit to ‘save’ your password, right? But unfortunately the microseconds you may save may not be worth it in the end. The safest practise when visiting your favourite online sites, be it a financial institution or a clothing store, you’re better off signing in manually rather than opting for the express option. After all, you never know when or if prying eyes are watching.

3. Always in your sight

Have you heard in recent months the Australian cafe owner ripping off some of their customer’s credit cards when processing them? Worse still, they would record the number and process the credit cards multiple times over unbeknownst to them for quite some time. That’s why your credit card must:

  • always be in your sight. These days eftpos machines are portable and aren’t restricted by short cords hiding underneath benches.
  • never pay for goods or services over the phone. If a business insists in a deposit or payment placed over the phone, ask if you can make a direct deposit into their account, send a cheque or go in person.

How to avoid being scammed: Phishing vs Skimming vs Hacking

These are just some of the ways criminals attempt to scam unsuspecting individuals. There’s really not one worse than the other, but there are some ways you can be better prepared if it does happen to you. We briefly look into three of them to help you understand what they are and hopefully better equip you with tips on detecting suspicious activity in your bank account or even way before.

Phishing

What is it?

When fraudsters try to trick you into giving them your personal information in an email or over the phone. Otherwise known as a hoax.

What are some warning signs?

If you’ve received a letter, email or text claiming that you’ve won a cash prize, then that’s great news! But if you receive this information and you don’t recall entering a competition for the company they’re claiming to be from and they ALSO ask you to tell them your bank account details so that they can send you the prize, then that’s bad news.

Other ways fraudsters will try and extract sensitive information from you is by sending you an email usually claiming to be from the Apple Team or your bank. They will have either the correct logos to make you feel safe and trust the email. They usually suggest that your credit card or password will expire shortly and to rectify it in time that may ask you to fill out a form online, reply to the email with your credit card details/email or offer a link that takes you to a website they’ve built that mimics the company they are claiming to be from where they will ask you to update your details there.

How to keep yourself safe from phishing?

  • Never offer your credit card details or password in an email or over the phone.
  • Your bank or other companies that hold your sensitive information will NEVER ask you to verify your account details over an email. They are also unlikely to offer you a website link to click onto. The safest way to update your information is to type in the site yourself, not click a link. Call to verify the email if you’re not certain.
  • If Apple or your bank is writing to you, they will most likely address you personally so that the letter is less generic. Keep an eye out for spelling and grammatical errors as well as odd graphics or logos that just seem out of place.

Skimming

What is it?

When a device has been used to extract information from your credit or debit card usually secretly attached to an ATM. Skimming can also happen if a fraudster is physically near and brushes past you and your wallet with a skimming device hiding in their bag.

What are the warning signs?

If you walk up to an ATM to withdraw money and think it looks tampered with, or something is ‘not quite right’, walk away. Chances are there’s something amiss that you truly want to miss out on! External machines that camouflage and secret cameras that record your pin can be installed mostly going undetected.

Tip: Need to withdraw cash? Your safest bet is to withdraw from an Australia Post teller, your bank teller or from a supermarket at the register.

Someone standing a little close to you in queue? They either don’t understand personal space or are trying to skim your credit card in your back pocket or in your handbag. They don’t have to physically touch your card or wallet either. They’ve got a pretty powerful and nifty device that copies information on the magnetic strip or microchip of your credit card where they can then duplicate the information and make fake copies of your cards or use it for online purchases.

Tip: Store your credit cards in an anti RFID wallet that deflects any skimmers ability to ‘steal’ your information. Or you could wrap your cards in foil. Just saying.

Hacking

What is it?

When an individual or a team of fraudsters make their way into a system to view and extract a database of people’s sensitive information that’s normally safe every other day.

What are the warning signs?

Similar impact to criminals stealing mail over time containing personal information, hacking is when fraudsters hack into internet service providers, banks or business databases and abuse the sensitive information of their customers they find. This could be anything from names addresses, date of birth, passwords, basically anything to build a file on you the individual.

Over time and with the right information, criminals can steal your identity and apply for bank accounts, credit cards etc under your name. They may even use this information to withdraw money from your own personal bank accounts.

Tip: It’s good to know that leading banks and institutions are constantly updating their online security to ensure safety practises for their customers. For information on how hacking can affect you, visit: https://www.crimecommission.gov.au

Stay Smart Online

Whatever the scam, you can be certain there’s a serious and organised crime behind it. Stay Smart Online is the Australian Government’s cyber security website designed to help Australians understand online credit card risks and more. For more information on steps to protecting your personal and financial information online visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

I think I was scammed. What should I do next?

  • Has your credit card been charged once or multiple times from the same company that you don’t remember purchasing from? Call your bank immediately and report the purchase(s). They take these matters seriously no matter how small or large the amount is and should report back to you within 3 business days.
  • Check your credit file with online services like Veda to see if there’ve been unfamiliar credit enquiries made under your name. If yes, request an investigation.
  • Report it to the police. They will judge the severity of the crime and how to handle it from there.
  • Change your pin and passwords, and ask to be issued with a new credit card.

Want to read more about this? Visit government site Money Smart: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/banking-and-cr...

Is PayWave and PayPass safe?

Yes and no. It’s not a straightforward question with a straightforward answer. Although the microchips that are now embedded in our credit and debit cards come with the promise that they are using the safest technology to fully encrypt your personal information, the fact that the technology can charge your card from a 4cm distance means that it does not require you to ‘tap and go’ as the popular marketing would suggest. That means that anyone can buy a skimmer online and come within 4cm of your wallet, handbag or back pocket to literally get access to your account. And that’s a worry.

Should you really be worried? Perhaps not just this minute, just remember to take all necessary precautions when using your credit card to pay for goods and services. It’s also a good idea to always know where your card is and never leave it out of your sight.

How to report a scam

Suspicious about unusual activity on your account? Then you need to get to the bottom of it. Even if you’re not sure what’s happened to your account, report it. Let your gut instinct drive the enquiry but also remain open-minded. Afterall, it could be a purchase you simply forgot you made. But don’t rely on that probability!

Always double check with your bank and ask them to make an enquiry on your behalf. Remember, most banks have an enquiry line open 24 hours a day, so if you’re checking your accounts late at night and see an unusual purchase or purchases, then don’t hesitate to them. They’ll get back to you within three business days and you’ll sleep easy knowing that your request will get resolved, no matter what.

Don’t have time to read about credit card fraud right now?

Here’s a snapshot on how to protect your card in 10 seconds.

  • Don’t share your PIN or passwords with anyone. Also avoid storing them on your phone or writing them down.
  • Cover your hand when entering your PIN
  • Don’t disclose your card number over the phone, and especially the security number usually found on the back.
  • Avoid predictable and obvious PIN combinations.
  • Always know where it is. When paying at a retailer, cafe or restaurant follow the staff when they process the payment. Don’t let them wander off with your card.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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