The Veda report, which analyses confirmed credit fraud events across Australia and uses consumer research of more than 1,000 Australians, found that 50% of credit application fraud in Australia now occurs online – an increase of 33% compared to the previous financial year. This compares with a 23% fall in credit application fraud incidents occurring at bank branches in 2014-15, compared to 2013-14.
Fiona Long, Veda’s Head of Cybercrime, said one in four Australians (25%) now claimed to be a victim of identity theft or fraud. Ms Long feared this was the “tip of the iceberg”, with many more people likely to be unaware that their data had been stolen or compromised.
“We have all embraced keeping in touch online and interacting in the virtual economy, but this has created a world of opportunity for cybercriminals who constantly vacuum up personal and financial information online,” Ms Long said.
“Astonishingly, fewer than one in two Australians (44%) regularly change their online passwords and only 66% use secure web pages (https) when transacting online. Almost one third (32%) of Australians publish their full birth date on social networking sites, which is a key piece of personal information used to verify someone’s identity.”
According to the Australian Government’s Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), there were almost 10,000 reports made to ACORN in the three months to 31 March 2015 alone. Of these, 49% related to scams or fraud.
In June, the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) reported that fraud on Australian payment cards was continuing to increase in the online environment. Fraud on Australian payment cards increased from 46.6c to 58.8c in every $1,000 spent over the 12 month period. And card-not-present fraud, occurring mainly online, by phone or by mail, accounted for 94% of the increase in card fraud; at $299 million, card-not-present fraud made up 77% of all payments card fraud in Australia by value.