How big a problem is credit fraud in New Zealand?
According to the latest figures from the New Zealand police (in 2009), credit card fraud doubled within a year, from 1,712 in the 2006/07 financial year to 3,948 in the year to June 2008. In July 2007 to June 2009, around 37,481 credit cards were lost or stolen, with the cards totaling in value an estimated NZD$8,296,698. In 11,642 cases, from 2008 to 2009, consumers never even received their credit card, as criminals got their hands on the card before it fell through the door.
There’s more than one way for fraudsters to steal credit. A standard way for criminals to do so is through fraudulent applications, with around 2,801 totaling $1,492,274 made from 2007 to 2009. Counterfeit cards and skimming, where the fraudster steals information from the magnetic strip, are other problems in New Zealand.
As reported by ACI Payment Systems, 20% of New Zealand cardholders were affected by fraud in 2016. This is a 3% increase since 2014.
However, by far the biggest problem when it comes to credit card fraud is the “card-not-present” fraud, which is where purchases and charges are made to a credit card over the phone, mail or Internet. The criminal doesn’t even need to possess the card physically.
Global credit card fraud
According to the Nilson Report in October 2016, global credit card fraud reached “US$21.84 billion in 2015, up 20.6% over 2014.” Fraud loss occurs, for example, from counterfeit cards, card-not-present transactions (made online, via phone, mail, social networks or mobile phone apps) and fraudulent applications. Global spending from a credit, debit or prepaid card was “US$31.310 trillion in total volume” in 2015 and the “gross fraud loss for card-based payment systems worldwide equaled 6.97 cents per US$100 of total volume, up from 6.21 cents per US$100 in 2014”.
How to Protect Yourself
There are various ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud in New Zealand. One way is to invest in Secure Identity by Secure Sentinels. This handy software alerts you when any irregular activity occurs involving your name.
If you’re worried, it only takes one call to cancel your credit cards, and if you suspect your card has been stolen or used fraudulently; you should contact your credit card company immediately. It can then arrange a replacement card and cancel your existing one. There may be times where you’re eligible for up to a $1,000 emergency cash advance.
Some standard things you can do to protect yourself are:
- Never write your pin numbers down or leave your card unattended.
- Always be wary of who’s around when you use your card. When drawing money out of an ATM, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder.
- Tear up/shred any statements and paperwork containing your credit card information before you throw it away.
- Make sure, when you shop online, that you only use reliable, security protected websites.
If you bear these tips in mind, you should be able to minimize the chances of falling victim to credit card fraud.
Contact your lender to report fraud
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