skip to log on skip to main content
VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus

What is credit card fraud and how to protect yourself

Welcome to our useful guide on credit card fraud. Discover what it is and what to do if you fall victim. We also look at how we protect you. And how you can protect yourself.

What is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorised use of a credit card to make fraudulent transactions, obtain unauthorised funds or gain other financial benefits. It involves the theft of sensitive information – such as the cardholder’s account number, expiration date and security code – to make unauthorised purchases or withdrawals.

Your information could be stolen in a variety of ways, with scams being one of the most common. Whilst scams are not the same as fraud, falling for a scam could indeed result in fraudulent activity occurring on your card. A scam is when you’re tricked into authorising a payment to an account that is controlled by a scammer. You may also be tricked into taking another action, such as sharing your personal details (e.g. credit card details, PIN or password), that helps a third-party to access your accounts.

Fraud is when someone transfers funds out of your account or makes a purchase without your authority.

The true cost of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud is on the rise. Data from the Australian Payments Network shows that in 2022, the total value of credit card fraud increased by 16.5% on the previous year to $577 million.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Credit cards can provide a safer way to pay for things – particularly when it comes to online transactions. We’ll explain why later, but first, let’s look at the most common types of credit card fraud.

Common types of credit card fraud

  • Card-not-present (CNP)

Card-not-present transactions are those made online or over the phone. With the rise in online shopping, so too the rise in CNP fraud. In fact, it now counts for more than 90% of all fraud on Australian credit and debit cards. Criminals use malware and phishing to obtain your card details, which could lead to fraudulent transactions, so treat unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls from people you don’t know with great suspicion.

  • Counterfeit and skimming

Skimming is when a device – often attached to an ATM or a merchant’s terminal – steals the details of your credit card from the magnetic stripe. Your card details are then used for CNP fraud or to create a counterfeit card.

  • Lost or stolen card

This type of fraud occurs when you’ve lost your card, or someone steals it, so make sure you always know the whereabouts of your card. If either happen, contact your bank immediately to temporarily block or cancel your card. Most big banks now let you do this via their mobile banking apps.

  • Card-never-arrived

New and replacement cards are often sent via the post. Card-never-arrived-fraud occurs when someone intercepts your card enroute or steals it from your letterbox.

  • False application

False application fraud is when a fraudster sets up a credit card account using someone else’s identify or information. The fraudster might apply for a credit card in your name and then run up debts. Another trick is to link the card to your bank account so that you’re left with the repayments. Banks have become a lot more sophisticated at weeding out this type of fraud, but it still happens.

What to do if you fall victim to credit card fraud

You should immediately contact your bank or card issuer, who will likely freeze your credit card account until they get to the bottom of it. If you’re a customer of ours, here are the steps you need to take.

Calling us via the ANZ App is a quick way to report fraudulent or unusual activity.

Log in to the ANZ App, tap Support, select Cards, then tap Reporting Fraud or Identity Theft.

Alternatively, you can call us on 13 22 73 or +61 3 9683 9999 if overseas.

If you’ve received a suspicious message claiming to be from us, we want to know. Criminals often use scam emails to capture financial information, such as your credit card details.

Please forward the SMS or email (not a screen capture) to and delete it immediately.

Be careful not to click on any links or download any attachments. Learn more about reporting suspicious activity.

Send us an email

If your credit card has been stolen, or lost in an unsafe place, then you need to report it immediately via the ANZ App, or by calling us.

You can also temporarily block your credit card if you’re confident that you’ve misplaced it somewhere safe.

For full instructions, please visit lost or stolen cards.

If you think you’ve made a payment or shared your ANZ credit card or account details with a scammer, please contact us immediately.

You can also report scams to the ACCC’s Scamwatch and through the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s ReportCyber portal.

You may also want to reach out to the credit reporting agencies to ensure that the fraudulent activity doesn’t harm your credit score. The three credit reporting agencies we use are Equifax, Experian and Illion.

How we protect you against credit card fraud

Credit cards are viewed by some as a safer way to pay for things. The reasons are twofold.

Firstly, you may qualify for our fraud money-back guarantee on any unauthorised fraudulent transactions, so long as you didn’t contribute to the loss and notified us promptly of the fraud.

Secondly, banks and credit card issuers have beefed up their security in recent years, making it more difficult for thieves than ever before. Here are some of the security features you should look for when choosing a credit card.

24/7 anti-fraud protection

Not all credit card providers offer anti-fraud protection, so it’s a good one to keep in mind when shopping for a credit card. At ANZ, we have 24/7 credit card security provided by ANZ FalconTM Technology.

If we identify any transactions as unusual or suspicious, we will try to get in touch with you to make sure it’s one of yours. If we can’t get hold of you, we may block the account until you can confirm that everything is fine.

Money back guarantees

With ANZ Fraud Money Back Guarantee, if you suffer a loss because of a fraudulent transaction on your ANZ credit card, you may be credited the amount stolen, so long as you didn’t contribute to the loss and you notified us promptly of the fraud.  For more information, refer to the ePayments code referred to in the credit card Conditions of Use.disclaimer

If you notice any unusual transactions on your account, please contact us immediately on 13 22 73.

Microchip security

All new and replacement ANZ credit cards now come with microchip technology to help keep your credit card safe and secure.

Microchip security makes it more difficult for your credit card details to be fraudulently skimmed at ATMs or point of sale.

Online shopping security

Visa Secure (formally known as Verified by Visa) works behind the scenes to provide extra security for your credit card when shopping online.

With Visa Secure, sometimes you’ll be asked by your card issuer to help verify your identity through additional security steps, such as a one-time passcode, or biometrics. At ANZ, we only issue Visa credit cards.

How you can protect yourself against credit card fraud

Travelling overseas

  • We recommend that you let us know before you travel overseas. This helps us anticipate an increase in overseas purchases so that we don’t unnecessarily block your credit card during this period. The good news is that you can let us know via ANZ Internet Banking.
  • Don’t keep all your cards together in case your wallet or purse is stolen. Consider keeping a backup card somewhere safe.
  • Be extra vigilant for card skimmers at ATMs and in-store. If the ATM or payment terminal looks unusual, or the casing is loose, don’t use it.
  • Keep your contact details up to date so that we can reach you if we detect any suspicious transactions

Some final tips to help you protect yourself from scams


  1. Stop and think twice before acting on an “urgent” request.
  2. Be cautious of unexpected emails, messages or calls even if they appear to come from a legitimate organisation or someone you know.
  3. Verify that requests are legitimate by contacting the organisation/provider on a verifiable number.


  1. Share personal or sensitive online banking details (e.g. passwords, PINs, one-time passcodes) to anyone.
  2. Click on links or download attachments from an unexpected email or message.
  3. Provide an unsolicited caller remote access to your device.

Need to temporarily block, or report a lost or stolen card?

If your credit card has been stolen, or lost in an unsafe place, then you need to report it immediately via the ANZ App or by calling us. You can also temporarily block your credit card if you’re confident that you’ve misplaced it somewhere safe.

Find out more

Related articles

7 ways to stay safe while shopping online

Real or fake? We share 7 ways to stay safe while shopping online during sales season.

Read more

How to choose a credit card that’s right for you

Choosing a credit card should never be done on a whim. Make sure you compare fees and charges, interest rates and benefits so that your decision is an informed one.

Read more

How to avoid paying credit card interest

Let’s face it, paying credit card interest bites big time. Especially when it can be avoided. Below we’ll look at how to minimise your credit card interest – and how to avoid paying it altogether.

Read more

Falcon® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation.

Refer to the Electronic Banking Conditions of Use contained in your product terms and conditions (PDF).