Navigating the credit card fraud minefield

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February 5, 2010

Soaring rates of credit card fraud have devastated thousands of consumers in 2010. Due to demand from vulnerable card users now seeking refuge in the landmine of credit shopping, RateCity has collected data to show you the standards of credit card security in Australia.

The dangerous facts
The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) reported last month that the rate of fraud increased from 28 to 34 cases in every 100,000 transactions during the 12 months to June 2010, compared to the previous 12 months. This is a 21.4 percent jump over a single year.

The latest Reserve Bank of Australia statistics show that more than 144 million credit card transactions were made in November 2010, bringing the number of fraud incidents to more than 44,000 in that month alone according to APCA.

Even with thousands of crimes every month, you can still protect yourself without giving up online shopping altogether. For example, being cautious about the websites you visit and knowing your card's safety precautions can improve your security dramatically.

The best security features
RateCity has compared more than 300 credit cards and compiled some of the best security features offered by providers. The next time you apply for a credit card, make sure that it's up to scratch with these latest technologies and measures.

  • ¬†Eighty-two percent of cards require verification with a personal password when you make online transactions.
  • Seventy-one percent of credit cards include security chips.
  • Forty-one percent offer individual fraud protection when a thief uses your card for a shopping spree.
  • Out of these that offer individual fraud protection, 71 percent cover you for an unlimited amount in the event of fraud.
  • Eighty-seven percent have an active fraud protection system.
  • And almost all (94 percent) cards will call customers in the event of abnormal spending.

The verdict
If your card doesn't offer the above benefits, you should question whether you're getting the best deal in the market, and spend some time shopping around for cards that will better protect you against scams and cybercrimes.

But if you can't bear to part with your card, there are other ways for you to take arms against fraud.

Start by registering your card for online security services such as Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode for online shopping protection, and then increase your antivirus and internet security to fend off scams and viruses.

Fraud can cause months of stress, so shield yourself by comparing credit cards online at RateCity to find the toughest cards at the lowest rates.



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