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Online Fraud On The Rise In Australia

More than one fifth of Australian banking or financial services customers have been defrauded in the past year, a new report has found.

And online fraud is the fastest growing way that people are getting ripped off.

These are among the key findings of consumer credit company Experian's Fraud Management Insights 2017 report, which is based on research covering more than 3,000 consumers, including 400 Australians, and many major businesses.

Some 22 per cent of Australian respondents said they had encountered fraud themselves at least once over the past year in the banking or financial services sector, and 14 per cent knew of family or friends who had.

The most common types of fraud involve online transactions where a credit card is not physically used, identity theft, and mobile payments or transactions.

Experian's head of fraud and identity Jon Malone said new security technology that can detect potential fraud by analysing the way consumers use their devices was common overseas, and major banks were considering introducing it in Australia.

He said technology might involve detecting how a person's thumb typically moves across their mobile phone screen, and whether how long is spent entering usernames and passwords can indicate it is being transferred from a spreadsheet.

"A lot of financial institutions are looking at that type of technology," he said.

Almost half of respondents said they would consider switching banks or financial institutions if they experienced fraud.

Reported fraud in the retail sector was around the same is for financial services, and just 11 per cent in the telecommunications industry.

Mr Malone said consumers could help to protect themselves against online fraud by simply using different passwords for each account they hold.

He said most Australians have similar apps on their phones and using the same email and password for each can make them a target.

"If you are using the same password for all of those (accounts) then it is very easy for these fraudsters to get a bunch of information about you," Mr Malone said.


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