Contactless debit and credit cards have revolutionised shopping but have also opened the door to a higher risk of fraud, with businesses facing a catch-22.
Statistics from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research revealed a 47.6 per cent increase in reported fraud in Central NSW up to September 2016.
The extra 100 cases of fraud reported are believed to be stolen debit and credit cards used for purchases.
Last week, a man was convicted in Orange Local Court of fraudulently buying $96.30 worth of chicken, part of a $1850 shopping spree using stolen credit cards.
“What makes things easy for us, makes things easy for offenders,” Charles Sturt University’s financial crime programs director Douglas Allan said.
Mr Allan, a former fraud investigator, said businesses faced a tough challenge in helping to stamp out fraud which came down to how much risk they would accept. He warned there was not one solution for all businesses.
“Businesses need to be careful both in terms of protecting themselves and profiling people and getting it wrong,” he said.
Mr Allan said there were valid reasons people had multiple cards or used multiple transactions, but if they were suspicions, transactions could be queried.
He said businesses worried about being exposed to fraud should speak to police about what they could do to reduce opportunity for criminals.
“Crime is about opportunity, so if you don’t have a contactless system, the contactless cards can’t be used,” Mr Allan said.
“Encourage a positive anti-fraud culture within your workplace, talk with your staff about your concerns and encourage them to share.”
He said CCTV could be used to assist in identifying people who had made fraudulent transactions. Mr Allan said since the introduction of the contactless payments, banks had refined security ensuring cards often had to be in physical contact with EFTPOS machines.
That meant that while people could worry less about criminals carrying scanners in public, he urged consumers to be vigilant.
“Keep an eye on your card, if someone’s taking your card away from your view, the question is why,” he said.
“If you’re not using tap and go, then turn it off. You can prevent your card being used online or using tap and go.”