RateCity.com.au
powering smart financial decisions

Lost something? Don't be a victim of identity fraud

Lost something? Don't be a victim of identity fraud

RateCity looks into identity theft and how you can protect your identity while using your credit card.

July 28, 2010

At some stage or another, all of us have had our wallet, credit card or our identity stolen or we know of someone that has. It is a frightening and vulnerable position to be in and the consequences can be permanent.  

According to research from information and analytics provider Veda Advantage, 80 percent of Australians are concerned about identity theft and only 30 percent have implemented ways to protect themselves from being a victim of identity fraud.

What is even more staggering is that more than half (55 percent) of the 1015 Australians surveyed had lost their wallet, credit card, debit card or driver’s licence in the past three years, with almost a quarter (24 percent) having lost their personal information more than twice.

Queensland Police Service stated that identity crime is the fastest growing type of crime in the world and costs Australians between $1.6 billion and $3 billion each year. One of the major forms of identity theft is through credit cards, with scam artists and thieves gaining access to your personal and private information and then using this against you to:

  • Use your details to apply for credit cards or loans under your name.
  • Access your credit card account details online as well as your other banking details.
  • Purchase goods and services worldwide with your credit card.
  • Conduct credit card and debit card skimming.

The ramifications of being a victim to this type of theft not only can leave you feeling exposed, but it can have an impact on your credit history and can leave you in serious debt.

What has been done for you
Identity theft has had a significant impact on the credit card industry and as a result financial institutions have invested in implementing ways to reduce this type of theft, through some of the following:

  • Higher levels of security of online systems and  personal details.
  • Some financial institutions have set up specialist teams to monitor unusual and suspicious transactions and will call you if they come across a transaction that stands out.
  • Using mobile phone SMS messaging to authenticate online transactions.

How you can protect your financial identity
Even though most financial institutions have implemented measures to protect you and eliminate fraud, there are a few changes that you can make to further reduce your chances:

  • Regularly check your credit card statements for bogus transactions and notify your institution straight away if you come across one.
  • Contact your financial institution immediately if your credit card is stolen so they can cancel any further transactions.
  • Regularly change your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Never keep your PIN on you, especially in your wallet.
  • Never give your credit card information to anyone suspicious either online or via the telephone.
  • To find out different credit cards’ security, compare credit cards online for one that suits you best.

Just remember that these types of people are everywhere so never let your guard down and always be aware of who’s watching you at the checkout.

Related Links

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this article?

Advertisement

RateCity
ratecity-newsletter

Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.

Advertisement

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 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.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

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.