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Our plastic pain: Almost half of Aussie shoppers have or know someone who had their credit card details stolen

4 min read
31 May 2018

It’s disconcerting that your credit card details can be stolen in a second from right under your nose without your card ever leaving your possession. With 42% of credit card holders admitting their details had been stolen in the past, it may be time to re-evaluate our “plastic” habits.

Leading insurance comparison service commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1,577 Australians[1] who owned a credit card, to gauge how digitally safe we are while shopping online.

A whopping two fifths of Australians (39%) regularly use their credit card online to do their shopping with only 4 per cent admitting to never using their card on the web.

Worryingly, almost half of us (42%) had credit card details stolen in the past or know someone in a similar situation. A fifth of respondents (20%) also had over $500 stolen from their card and a further 22 per cent said over $1,000 was taken.

Abigail Koch, consumer advocate at says it’s crucial for Aussie shoppers to keep a track of their purchases and flag any suspicious activity with their bank.

“It’s concerning that less than a third (31%) of our survey respondents went through their bank statements and noticed their card details had been stolen. Consumers have to remain vigilant with anything bought on their card and avoid relying on their bank to discover any purchase discrepancies.”

Looking to the generational data and it’s no surprise that millennials (25 – 34 year olds) are the largest group to consistently use their credit card online at 60 per cent. Over half (51%) of the same age group also had their card details pilfered or know of someone who had information stolen in the past.

A significant amount of money was also taken from the credit card, with 37 per cent of 18 – 24 year olds losing over $200.

In contrast, nearly a third (32%) of the over 65s avoid using their credit card online as much as possible. However, a much larger sum of money was taken from their account after the details were stolen. Twenty nine per cent of 45 – 54 year olds lost over $500 and 27 per cent of the 65+s had a whopping $1,000 looted.

When it came to who discovered the missing money first, over half (54%) of the 65+ age group admitted it was their bank who initially notified them. Less than a quarter (24%) of the same age group regularly looked through their bank statements for discrepancies.

“These days, there are a number of functionalities in place so banks can protect your purchases and provide peace of mind. Both Visa and PayPal use fraud protection programs to make sure any unusual transactions are detected immediately,” Abigail explains.

“However, according to our latest study, a quarter of our respondents waited weeks for their bank to reimburse them the stolen money, with an added 14 per cent saying it took up to a month.”

“Consumers shouldn’t rely on their bank to do all of the hard work and should keep a record of everything bought both online and offline. Shoppers can also compare a range of credit cards through and discover the many purchase protection schemes on offer,” Abigail says.


These are some of the must have security measures to consider when comparing credit cards:

  • 24/7 anti-fraud protection – Round-the-clock credit card security to identify any unusual or suspect transactions
  • Verification software – Provides added security to ensure you are the only person able to use your card online
  • Fraud money back guarantees – Cardholders will be reimbursed for any unauthorised transactions after they have notified their bank is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.


[1] Pure Profile

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avatar of author: Hannah Twiggs

Written by Hannah Twiggs

Hannah (or Twiggs as she's known by most of her colleagues) is a non-stop talker, avid snack eater, dog lover and passionate writer. When she's not chatting to journalists or writing up new story angles, Hannah enjoys a good Netflix binge, going away camping with friends and big brunches - preferably with extra bacon.

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