Record scam numbers recorded

Record scam numbers recorded

Australians are reporting a record number of scams, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual Targeting Scams report showing a 47% increase from 2015 to 2016. 

According to the ACCC report, scammers conned nearly $300 million out of Australian pockets between 2015 and 2016. Investment scams accounted for the largest percentage of this figure, costing $59 million, while dating and romance scams came in second with $42 million lost. 

Between the ACCC’s Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), 200,000 scams were reported in 2015-2016, with 45% of these reports coming from Australians over the age of 55.

While most these scammers made contact over the phone or through email, social media scams are understood to be growing in popularity. With this in mind, the theme of 2017’s National Consumer Fraud Week (15-19 May) is Spot Social Media Scams.

How to spot a fake trader online or on social media

One of the most common scams on social media is the Fake Trader. Essentially, this involves creating a professional-looking ad on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site, usually for an online store selling interesting products.

If you click the ad, you’ll be taken through to a similarly slick-looking fake website, where you can purchase the item from the ad. However, once you hand over your money, the item never arrives, and you never hear from the trader again.

Spotting a fake online trader isn’t always easy – some scammers do a very professional job creating their ads and websites – but there are ways to catch them out.

  • Pause before buying – Resist your Fear Of Missing Out and don’t instinctively smash that Buy Now button. Take your time to check that the offer and the trader are the real deal before making any online transaction.
  • Look up the seller – Do they have an ABN? Do they have reviews or mentions on other websites? Has anyone you know dealt with them before? What’s their refund policy?
  • Look up the trader’s contact details – Will you be able to chase up an order if there are problems? Are they active on social media? Do they respond to criticism or complaints?

Many of these tips are also applicable when it comes to investment scams as well. No matter how tempted you are to invest your money with a professional-looking organisation promising a sure return, always check first!

How to protect yourself from fake traders

  • Use secure payment methods – These include credit cards and PayPal, which are administered by third parties. If you are a victim of a scam or fraud, contact the credit card provider or PayPal so they can chase your money up.
  • Avoid insecure payment methods – Examples include wire transfers, electronic currency, international funds transfer or pre-paid gift cards.
  • Trust no-one – Never send money or payment details to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email.
  • Only pay via a website’s secure payment method – When you navigate to a cart or checkout page, or anywhere else you enter account detaisl or payment information, look for a web address starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol.

Again, many of these tips are also applicable to investment scams.

For other tips to protect yourself from online social media scams, including how to spot fake profiles on dating and matchmaking sites, and who to trust on social media platforms, check the ACCC’s Scamwatch site, or read through The Little Black Book of Scams.

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Learn more about credit cards

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a payment method which lets you pay for goods and services without using your own money. It’s essentially a short-term loan which lets you borrow the bank’s money to pay for things which you can pay back – potentially with interest – at a later date. Credit cards can also be used to withdraw money from an ATM, which is known as a cash advance. Because you’re borrowing money from a bank, credit cards charge you interest on the money you use (unless you repay the entire debt during the interest-free period). When you apply for a credit card, the bank gives you a credit limit which sets the maximum amount you can borrow using your card. Credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments and can be a convenient way of paying for goods and services in store, online and all around the globe.

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.

How can I transfer money from a credit card to a bank account in ANZ?

The process to transfer money from credit card to a bank account for ANZ customers can be made online via the mobile app or over the phone. Here are the necessary steps for the transfer:

Call the ANZ general enquiries number on 132273 and verify your account information. Request to transfer the desired amount. You’ll then have to provide the bank account number and the BSB details to complete the transfer.

Log in to your online banking or mobile banking app and select the “transfer” option. Provide the bank account number, BSB details, and the amount you want to transfer. Confirm the details for ANZ to  transfer money from credit card to a bank account.

How do credit cards work?

Think of credit cards as a short-term loan where you use the bank’s money to buy something up front and then pay for it later. Unlike a debit card which uses your own money to pay, a credit card essentially borrows the bank’s money to fund the purchase. When you apply for a credit card, the bank assesses your income and assigns you a credit limit based on what you can afford to pay back. At the end of each billing cycle, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement showing the minimum amount you have to pay back, including any interest payable on the balance.

Can I use PayPal to transfer from a credit card to a bank account?

You can easily link your credit card to your PayPal account. When you need to make a payment, PayPal makes an instant transfer from your bank account, provided you’ve linked and confirmed your credit card details.For credit card holders, you can transfer funds from eligible cards listed in the “Instant” section of the money transfer page.

Here is how you can transfer money from PayPal to your bank account:

  1. On the “My Wallet” tab, select “Transfer Money” and then click on the “Transfer to your bank account” option.
  2. Choose the bank account where you want to transfer the money and click “Continue.”
  3. Enter the amount, review and click “Transfer Now.”
  4. When you confirm the transfer, the amount should be moved to the bank account linked from the chosen credit card.

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 a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

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. 

Increase your credit card limit with Westpac

You can apply to increase your Westpac credit card credit limit at any time, and most credit card providers have made it really easy to do so. You can use your online banking portal, the credit card provider’s mobile app, or even the telephone. 

Applying online to increase your credit limit with Westpac is the easiest option if you’ve already activated Westpac Live Online Banking. All you need to do is fill in the required information and then hit ‘submit’ to apply for an increase in your credit card limit.

Most banks will ask for details of your financial situation at the time of applying for a credit increase. This is done to ensure your new limit meets the lender’s criteria. 

You can apply for increasing your credit limit in any of the following ways:

  1. Visiting your nearest Westpac branch
  2. Calling Westpac on 1300 651 089
  3. Logging in on Westpac Live Online Banking

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.

How can I increase my St.George credit card limit?

You can apply to increase the limit of your St.George credit card online through Internet Banking. Log in and go to ‘Manage my accounts’. Within that, look for ‘Card Services’ and select ‘Increase Credit Card Limit’. Alternatively, you can also call on 133 800 and say ‘Increase Card Limit’ when prompted. You’ll also be required to share some information at the time of making the application.

To apply for a credit limit increase on your St. George credit card, your account should have been open for at least six months before the application and you should not have made a credit limit increase request in the last six months. Also remember, that you are only eligible for a credit limit increase if you’re the primary cardholder.

Final approval of your request depends on satisfactorily meeting the credit assessment criteria.

What to consider before transferring money from your credit card to your bank account in Citibank?

You can transfer money from a Citibank credit card to a bank account depending on the available limit of each. The process is known as a cash advance transaction, and Citibank should allow you to transfer some portion of the total credit limit.

Transferring funds from a credit card to a bank account is likely to attract additional charges, so please consider the following potential costs:

  • A cash advance fee, which is a per cent of the total transfer amount
  • A 2 per cent transaction fee when you transfer money from a Citibank credit card to a bank account
  • Cash advance interest rate applicable on the transfer amount without any interest-free period.

To learn more about such transfers, you can contact the bank via the online service desk, email, or by calling 13 CITI (13 24 84).

How do I increase my Virgin credit card limit?

If you’re a Virgin Money cardholder and you’re looking at increasing your credit card limit, the first step is to get in touch with Virgin’s credit team on 13 37 39. 

Once you request a Virgin Money credit card limit increase, the lender will do an assessment of your current financial position to make sure you can repay the credit. Virgin Money will typically take 7 to 10 working days to complete this process.

Virgin Money has strict terms around credit increases. To be eligible, you must have opened your account no less than nine months before making the application. Also, at least six months must have passed since your last credit limit increase. The maximum increase you can expect will be 50 per cent of your existing credit limit.

How to increase your Heritage credit card limit?

Heritage credit card holders can increase their card limits, and typically without any hassles. There are two limits applied to your credit card: your account transfer limit and your credit card limit, each of which has a separate limit.

To increase your Heritage credit card limit, you can contact Heritage on 13 14 22. Unfortunately, you cannot opt to increase your credit card limit online due to security reasons. 

You can, however, request to increase your daily account transfer limit and BPAY® to up to $40,000 per day easily through Heritage Online. To do this,  you'll need to first ensure that your credit card limit is more than $40,000. If it is lower, you’ll need to first ask Heritage for an increase in your credit card limit. 

  • It’s important to note that once you change your credit limit, the daily periodic rate and corresponding annual percentage rate will change as well. This is likely to come into effect on the first day of each billing cycle that begins in March, June, September, and December. The effect of an increase in the annual percentage rate and the daily periodic rate will lead to an increased amount of interest you will have to cover in your monthly payment.