Credit card holders are urged to check their statements regularly and report any unauthorised transitions immediately to their bank or financial institution.
This advice comes after local residents spoke with News Of The Area about purchases charged to their credit cards without their knowledge.
The charges were for several transactions over a five-day period with the amounts ranging from $25 to $840.
The residents said they were informed by their bank that scammers will often make small transactions to see if they are approved before moving onto larger purchases.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian’s lost more than $2 billion to credit card fraudsters last year, double the $1 billion lost in 2010-11.
The figures also show a significant increase in online card fraud where purchases are made using stolen account details.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) say scammers have many ways of obtaining credit card details including over the phone and by accessing details from online shopping activities.
“Once scammers have a credit card number and security code, they can make purchases over the internet or by phone,” they say.
ASIC suggests a few simple things consumers can do to help prevent card fraud.
“Do not give your personal, credit card or online account details in an email or to a caller on the phone unless you made the call,” they say.
“Regularly check your bank statements and if there are any purchases you cannot account for report them to your bank.”
Choosing strong PINs and passwords for all accounts, shredding statements and bills before discarding them and having up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer can also help.
For further information on credit card scams visit www.scamwatch.gov.au
By Daniel SAHYOUN