Common card fraud and tips to protect yourself

Bank First takes the privacy and security of your personal details seriously.

Our card services team monitors alerts for unusual activity and dispute transactions on behalf of Members and the Bank where appropriate. Here are some of the most common cases of fraud, scams and Visa disputes and what you can do to help you protect yourself.

We have recently seen an increase in both attempted and successful fraud in the hacking of computers and identity theft. Hacking occurs when scammers hack your computer or mobile device to access your personal information and restrict access to your own systems. Identify theft involves using someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits. To protect yourself against hacking and identity theft:

  • Avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access your own personal information.
  • Do not open attachments or click on links in suspicious emails of if they’re from a stranger.
  • Update your passwords and PINs regularly, and if you notice something unusual on your account, update immediately.
  • Never send money or give your personal information, including account details, to anyone you don’t know or trust.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you share online and regularly check the privacy settings of your social media accounts.

Online fraud is the most common type of fraud our Members face. Your details can become compromised by websites you've used that store your card information in their databases. Fortunately, funds are recoverable most of the time and Members are usually not liable. You can protect yourself from online fraud by ensuring your antivirus software, firewall, active browser scanning and internet security are all up-to-date, only deal with reputable merchants and transact online through secure payment methods such as Visa Checkout.

Card-present fraud, caused by theft, is also prevalent. Protect yourself by checking your accounts regularly and cancelling or locking your cards if they have been misplaced. See here how our Mobile App makes this easy with new functionality that allows you to lock and unlock your Bank First Visa cards, even after hours.

Visa transactions frequently present in the form of health and beauty disputes. These are often advertised as a free trial of a product where the Member only pays for postage. The merchant then signs the Member onto a subscription, subsequently charging them amounts upwards of $100 every fortnight. Be wary of what you sign up to online and always read the fine print.

Scams that are financially damaging to Members include social engineering scams. These come in the form of cold calls in which the caller impersonates a well-known organisation. ATO scams are such an example. A Member will receive a call advising money is owed and demanding payment - often with the threat of imprisonment. The scammer will then get the Member to make the payment in such a way that funds are unrecoverable - such as iTunes vouchers or money transfer. This can be incredibly damaging for Members who pay exorbitant sums in response to pressure and aggression from the caller. In this situation, you can check the caller is genuine by hanging up and calling the ATO by looking up the number from the website.

This is not an exhaustive list of the fraud and disputes Bank First Members fall victim to. The ACCC website, is an excellent resource to refer to. If ever in doubt about the authenticity of a transaction, don't make the payment and call us to check. The cards team are always happy to help.