Woman’s horror at maxed-out credit card

A NSW woman who couldn’t pay a bill because her credit card was maxed out was horrified to discover the reason why.

A NSW woman scammed of close to $1000 fears online fraudsters are becoming even more cunning.

Orange small business owner Danielle Haase had her credit card swiped of $900 by online scammers, maxing out her card on a transaction spent at a fictitious JB Hi-Fi store in the regional city.

Attempting to pay for a doctors bill, Ms Haase realised her card had been tampered with after it declined at the point-of-sale, prompting her to check the account and discovering the financial damage.

The single mum, who owns a doggy daycare, knew immediately it was a scam, as the regional NSW town does not have a local JB Hi-Fi store, and quickly moved to cancel the card so no further damage could be done.

“I popped out to my car and pulled up my banking app and straight away blocked my card,” she said.

Ms Haase’s experience coincides with a new survey from financial comparison group RateCity that found one in three Australians had been hit by some form of financial scam.

RateCity research director Sally Tindall said scammers used multiple tactics to catch people, such as free Wi-Fi in public spaces and discount coupons for shops.

“Scammers have an array of tactics to catch people off guard, whether it’s through an unsolicited text message, by hacking into your email or skimming your credit card,” Ms Tindall said.

“Check your bank statements regularly, and if you see a suspicious transaction, query it.”

Ms Tindall noted a free credit score check could also reveal if someone had swiped details to use for credit card fraud.

Figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission show in 2019 that more than $630m was lost to scams, with the top three being investments, romance and false billing rorts.

Phone calls are the most common types of scams that Australians are falling prey to.

While Ms Haase was able to recover the funds and her bank was very efficient in identifying the hack, she said her capped credit limit of $2000 assisted in more funds not being stolen.

She also said the experience had made her more aware of online attacks, believing the fraudsters are getting smarter and staying one step ahead of authorities.

“I have become a lot less trusting and keep thinking everything is a scam,” Ms Haase said.

The ACCC has a dedicated scam page called ScamWatch where incidents can be reported.

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