Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Credit Card Safety 101

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Credit Card Safety 101

Article excerpt

IT is no surprise that Australians are in the midst of a love affair with credit.

And while uncertain economic times may have decreased the volume of cash advances from credit cards, Reserve Bank of Australia data shows the number of credit cards in this country increased by 40,000 in January compared to last December.

The number of credit card accounts hit a staggering 14.47 million, up from 14.18 million in January 2009.

It is music to the ears of the world's credit card scammers.

Thankfully Caloundra resident Chris Taylor has written Crime of the Time ($28.95 online), a new book to help consumers and businesses protect themselves from credit card and cyber fraud.

He has a decade as a credit card, fraud and e-crime investigator for the Commonwealth Bank-owned ASB Bank in New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand and the Veda Advantage credit bureau.

"From bored teenagers, highly sophisticated mafias, organised gangs and drug addicts to conmen, recession-stretched individuals and even terrorists, this is the crime of choice for a lot of society," he said.

"We're now in a global society and someone from Russia could use your information for anything, it's a fact of life today.

"My whole inspiration is education. If people are a bit more aware about how it's committed, people can protect themselves from scams. And if everyone has that knowledge we can always work together to combat fraud."

Mr Taylor urged businesses to avoid becoming victims.

"There is the three-digit code on the back of credit cards and the next step is the Verified By Visa and MasterCard Secure Code, but anything the card schemes introduce the crooks will outmanoeuvre.

"People have been contacted by phone by crooks asking for that code over the phone or the codes have been compromised by phishing scams.

"Hotels and car rental companies can protect themselves by doing checks to make sure the person doing the booking matches the legitimate card holder. …

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