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Online fraud on the rise in Australia

One day after federal legislation was introduced that requires retailers turning over $3 million or more or trading in personal information to notify individuals of a data breach, new research shows that online fraud in Australia is higher than ever.

More than one fifth of Australian banking or financial services customers have been defrauded in the past year, according to research from consumer credit company Experian. And online fraud is the fastest growing way that people are getting ripped off.

Released today, Experian’s Fraud Management Insights 2017 report is based on research covering more than 3,000 consumers, including 400 Australians, and many major businesses.

The most common types of fraud involve online transactions where a credit card is not physically used, identity theft, and mobile payments or transactions.

With the sheer volume of digital transactions on the rise and fraud reaching critical mass, retailers should be more aware of the impact fraud can have on their reputation and ultimately their bottom line.

Some 22 per cent of Australian respondents said they had encountered fraud in the retail sector at least once over the past year, and 14 per cent knew of family or friends who had.


Experian’s head of fraud and identity Jon Malone said consumers could help to protect themselves against online fraud by simply using different passwords for each account they hold.

He said most Australians have similar apps on their phones and using the same email and password for each can make them a target.

“If you are using the same password for all of those (accounts) then it is very easy for these fraudsters to get a bunch of information about you,” Malone said.

Meanwhile, new security technology that can detect potential fraud by analysing the way consumers use their devices is common overseas, and major banks are considering introducing it in Australia, according to Malone.

Technology might involve detecting how a person’s thumb typically moves across their mobile phone screen, and whether how long is spent entering usernames and passwords can indicate it is being transferred from a spreadsheet.

“A lot of financial institutions are looking at that type of technology,” he said.


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November 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Online fraud is also a huge issue for businesses. I run a small business selling children’s apparel and we never expected to have people using stolen cards to make online transactions. There is no support from the banks in protecting retailers if they are suspicious about an order. At least consumers get their money back and this is becuase the banks just take the money from the retailer to give back to the consumer. The retailer has to wear this cost.