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Avoid skimming and phishing credit card fraud

Avoid skimming and phishing credit card fraud

While credit card institutions are employing the most advanced counter-fraud technology, criminals are still coming up with the latest skimming and phishing fraud schemes to abstract money from our wallets.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scam Watch highlights the signs which will alert you to credit card fraud and tips to help you avoid becoming subject to it.

There are four types of common credit card frauds:

  • Card-not-present fraud: A person who uses an unauthorised card over the phone or on the Internet.
  • Counterfeit card fraud: The production of fake or counterfeit cards obtained by skimming the details from legitimate credit cards.
  • Card-not-received fraud: Stealing a card from an authentic credit card holder.
  • Application fraud: Credit card applications using false identities.

While all credit card fraud is concerning, card skimming and phishing is becoming more rampant and harder to control.

What is credit card skimming?

Card skimming is the act of illegally copying information from the magnetic strip of a credit card.

Card skimming is done for two reasons; to copy your personal information in order to create a fake card, which they can then use to access and make payments from your account or to steal your identity.

Identify theft occurs when a thief steals your personal details in order to create accounts, borrow money or take out loans.

Spot skimming fraud

In store: Suspicion should be raised if a shop assistant disappears out of sight with your card, swipes your card through a different machine than the one you used or asks you to swipe your card through more than one machine. 

ATMs: If the ATM you are using looks abnormal or appears to have an extra device attached, do not use the machine and report it to the bank and Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Transaction record: Keep an eye out for unusual transactions as this is the easiest way to determine if someone has skimmed your card.

Protection tips

Passwords and disclosure play an important role in keeping your credit card safe. Do not share your credit card, PIN number or write your details down. Pick intricate passwords and check your transactions regularly.

What is credit card phishing?

Phishing scams are similar to skimming fraud but are conducted via the Internet or mobile phones.

Emails or SMS are sent to you, under the fake cover of legitimate institutions, asking you to verify your bank account or personal details, in order to trick you into giving over this information.

The scammer is trying to get your bank details, passwords or credit card numbers so that they can steal your money.

Spot phishing fraud

Spotting phishing fraud can be harder as they act as legitimate companies by copying company logos and creating similar Internet address’s (URL), however once you know what to look for you should easily be able to spot the legitimate from the fraud.

No prior account: If you receive an email or SMS from a financial institution that you have never held an account with and they are asking you to verify your account details, you can be guaranteed it’s a phishing scheme.

Email errors: Big red flags to look out for are grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or your name is not addressed correctly.

You’ve won: Be wary of any emails or SMS that tell you you’ve won a large sum of money. Chances are, if you haven’t entered into a specific competition of late, it’s not a legitimate email. They may also tell you that you are eligible for a refund or other fee that they claim has been charged to your account. It won’t take you long to verify these details by checking with your bank.

Verify your account: Some phishing scams claim your details are needed to verify your account in order to protect you from fraud. Always be very cautious about verifying your details, unless you are on a legitimate website. Remember, most companies will never ask you to verify your password via email so if you get an email asking for this, play it safe and call the company directly.

Protection tips

Here are a few tips you should follow to help you avoid the slimy world of phishing scams.

  • Never give out your credit card details unless it’s a website you trust or you have phoned the company directly. If they have called you claiming to be a trusted institution, grab their details and call them back.
  • Do not open suspicious emails. Delete them, flag them as phishing emails within your email account or report them to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. If you have opened the email, do no click on the links within it or open any attachments.
  • Don’t call numbers from spam emails or SMS.
  • Bookmark the legitimate Internet account links that you use regularly rather than following links in emails.
  • Check the website carefully and if you aren’t 100% sure don’t enter your credit card details. 
  • Do not send your credit card details via email or SMS.

By following these rules and knowing the signs to look out for you can enjoy safer, fun shopping. You’re never 100% safe from fraud so make sure you stay ahead of the fraud trends by reading up on the latest skimming and phishing scams.

RateCity has over 200 credit cards you can compare online, each with their own unique security protection measures.

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Learn more about credit cards

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

What can I do about my Commonwealth Bank expired credit card?

You’ll typically receive your replacement Commonwealth Bank credit card before your current one expires. 

Once you receive the replacement card, you may need to update the new card with all the direct debits that you had set up on your expired Commonwealth Bank credit card. These could include insurance payments, electricity or gas bills, and monthly entertainment subscriptions.

To see a list of all your regular payments in NetBank, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to NetBank
  2. Click on ‘settings’
  3. Go to ‘product requests’, and select ‘credit card regular payments’. 

If you don’t use NetBank, you can see the list of your regular payments on your most recent credit card statement. Keep in mind, this list may not be complete and you should also check your past statements or your transaction history. 

If you haven’t received your replacement card before your current card expires, call 13 22 21 and the bank will send a new card to you. 

It is important that you safely discard your expired credit card. This often means cutting it up with scissors and throwing it out. 

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own. 

How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.

How do you cancel a credit card?

It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.