Businesses Warned Against Credit Cards Fraud

The Australian Payments Clearing Association has launched a program that has been designed to tackle online credit card fraud, in conjunction with the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police. The program has been launched to help small and medium businesses, to increase their awareness of the potential dangers of online credit card fraud.

Credit cards continue to be a delicate matter in Australia, even if a quick comparison will yield accessible offers at meanwhile, the ACC program will educate vendors by providing comprehensive advice, information and tips, as well as video recordings of case studies to make data more accessible and easier to understand. The problem has become a mounting concern, also partially because of Australia’s dependency on the online world and their acceptance of technological advances.

APCA says that taking a proactive stance is simple and easy enough for merchants to protect themselves from becoming victims to credit card fraud and that, simply by following some basic steps, businesses and consumers can take effective measures to protect themselves. The body stated that the same level of caution had to be exercised online as was practiced when cards were used at point of sale.

It is a consolidated effort that sees the joining of forces between law enforcement and retail merchants to make online transactions more secure. The program is said to teach people about which transactions are riskier than others. People have been warned to exercise restraint and question when an offer appears to be too good to be true- because it probably is. The “Get Smart About Card Fraud” program gives consumers and business people some insight into how the cyber-criminal world works.

Furthermore the Australian Crime Commission says that personal credit card details are available for as little as $1.00, which gives them access to a combined total which amounts to millions of dollars.

Credit cards topped the list of the most commonly traded products on the underground market during 2009 although the majority of incidents have taken place on foreign shores. Since 2009 however the prevalence of credit card fraud in Australia has virtually doubled from $90-million to $197-million in 2011.

Modern cyber criminals are now no longer simply skimming cards but actively hacking people’s accounts to get the information they want. It’s difficult to detect because it’s an intangible product and not as immediately obvious as the loss of a wallet or purse.

Home based businesses and small businesses have been singled out as weak links for credit card fraud which amounts to $278-billion as the sector is so heavily dependent on online transactions. APCA says that 70% of Australia’s employment comes from small and home based businesses, and these segments are soft targets because they are more likely to use the online world to extend their business reach, making them increasingly vulnerable to fraudulent activity.

According to data $74-million is being racked up by forged and false cards, a figure which balloons to $123.4-million when looking at international payments. The advice that has been given is simple but effective. Businesses are urged to ensure they get and confirm the correct personal details for customers. That includes verifying information such as names, billing addresses, delivery addresses and telephone numbers. Merchants need to check that the information provided is what has been printed on the card.

Businesses also need to be proactive about checking for discrepancies before they allow goods to be shipped off to the customer. They are also recommended to ensure they get proof of delivery and do not allow for any unusual requests like temporary addresses and have been cautioned against accepting payments on behalf of anyone or another business. Consumers are urged to ensure they keep their passwords updated and do not make them relate to any personal information or data, as well as keep their credit cards in a safe place.

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