Fraud Statistics
2016 Calendar Year


  • Fraud Statistics 2016 Calendar Year Sheet - Download PDF
  • Fraud Statistics 2016 Calendar Year Media Release - Download PDF

Fraud Perpetrated on Australian Cheques and Cards

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016
Fraud Transactions Total Transactions Fraud Rates
Number $ Number (millions) $ (millions) as % of total no. of transactions as % of total value ($) of transactions
Cheques 904 $6,406,873 112 $1,154,864 0.0008% 0.0006%
Australian-issued cards 2,839,746 $533,793,542 8,051 $714,494 0.0353% 0.0747%
Proprietary debit cards 66,998 $23,672,095 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Scheme credit, debit and charge cards 2,772,748 $510,121,447 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 2,840,650 $540,200,415 8,163 $1,869,358 0.0348% 0.0289%

Note:

  1. Data for the total number and total value of all transactions is from the RBA's Payment Data. The data for cheques is sourced from Table C6 and for cards from Tables C1, C4 and C5.
  2. A break in the series occurred at the end of 2012 as a result of a change in the data available in Table C5. The RBA no longer publishes debit card data by card types but provides aggregated data for all cards. Therefore APCA is no longer able to calculate fraud rates for proprietary debit cards and scheme credit, debit and charge cards separately.
  3. For cards the number of fraud transactions does not represent the number of cards or consumers affected. Typically, multiple fraud transactions are made on a single card.

r = Figures have been revised.

Cheque Fraud Perpetrated in Australia

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016
Category Actual Exposure Recoveries*
On-Us Fraud Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Value ($)
Valueless 1 7,387 427 45,930,527 1,885
Fraudulently Altered 318 2,139,401 588 10,127,975 666,791
Stolen Blank Cheque / Book 429 2,199,950 1,549 9,968,507 276,197
Originated Counterfeit Cheques 65 416,734 196 4,686,999 50,917
Non-originated Counterfeit Cheques 48 572,111 141 3,623,139 102,940
Breach of Mandate 17 904,041 14 596,346 37,133
On-Us Total 878 6,239,624 2,915 74,933,493 1,135,863
   
Deposit Fraud
Valueless 19 115,306 217 12,336,108 72,040
Valueless - Kite Flying 1 5,000 20 590,496 750
Third Party Conversion 6 46,943 28 332,478 46,589
Deposit Total 26 167,249 265 13,259,082 119,379
   
Total 904 6,406,873 3,180 88,192,575 1,255,242

* Data on the 'transactions' of recoveries is not collected.

“Actual” losses can relate to “Exposure” during an earlier period. This explains why, in some reporting periods,actual losses may exceed exposure.

Explanation of Cheque Fraud Categories

On-us Fraud

On-us cheque fraud includes cheques issued by Financial Institution X and deposited back into Financial Institution X. Categories for On-Us Fraud include:

Valueless - Covers cheques drawn on an account where there appears to be suspicious circumstances or where it is thought that the Cheque is stolen or forged or in any other way is fraudulently issued and action is taken in terms of Rule 4.4 in Schedule 10.

Fraudulently Altered Cheques :

Payee Only - cheques that have been altered to show payee details other than those originally authorized by the drawer and where no other area of the cheque has been altered.

Amount Only - cheques that have been altered to show $-amount details other than those originally authorized by the drawer and where no other area of the cheque has been altered.

Both Payee AND Amount - Cheques that have been altered to show payee details AND $-amount details other than those originally authorized by the drawer and where no other area of the cheque has been altered.

Note: Fraudulently altered cheques do not include cheques with forged signatures. These are included in Stolen Blank Cheque/Book and Originated or Non-Originated Counterfeit Cheques.

Where alterations are made to the MICR line, items are included in the counterfeit category

Stolen Blank Cheque/Book - this includes original stolen blank cheques that are written or marked in order to be passed off as if by the legitimate signatory. Includes forged makers mark.

Originated Counterfeit Cheques - originated counterfeit cheques are produced using the paper of the original cheque to create a new, unauthorized cheque. Techniques used in this process include washing, laser printing, scanning and desk-top publishing.

Non-originated Counterfeit Cheques - non-originated counterfeit cheques made on new paper to create a new, unauthorized cheque. Techniques used in this process include laser printing, photocopying, scanning and desk-top publishing. This category also includes items where the MICR line has been altered.

Breach of Mandate – this involves payment of cheques which do not follow the original instructions or arrangements set up. That is, the cheque may require two signatories but the financial institution, through error, allows only one signatory. Other examples include a cheque drawn by a designated authority such as Financial Officer or Accountant and used for fraudulent purposes.

Deposit Fraud

Valueless - Covers cheques deposited to an account knowing that these cheques should not be honoured on presentation by the drawee financial institution as they are valueless (lack of funds), counterfeit, reported stolen, have been fraudulently altered or are in breach of mandate (e.g. do not contain required number of signatures).

Note: This category excludes customer cheques dishonoured or returned for lack of funds where cheques were drawn in error, that is, there was no intent to defraud.

Valueless: Kite Flying - the activity of depositing valueless cheques and making withdrawals against those valueless cheques, between accounts owned by the same person. Also called round robin transactions.

Third Party Conversion - this category includes unaltered cheques which have been deposited to an account other than the payee. This arises where the financial institution has made insufficient enquiry or verification of the depositor regarding their title to the cheque. It also includes cheques where there are two payees but the financial institution has allowed one payee to deposit the amount into their personal account without authority from the other payee.

Proprietary Debit Card Fraud Perpetrated in Australia

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016
Category Transactions Value ($)
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Used:
Lost/Stolen 8,965 2,283,510
Never Received 3,908 2,085,545
Counterfeit/Skimming 51,353 18,337,099
Other 1,199 635,437
PIN Used Total 65,425 23,341,591
 
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Not Used:
Lost/Stolen 820 64,290
Never Received 167 25,883
Counterfeit/Skimming 562 183,159
Other 24 57,172
PIN Not Used Total 1,573 330,504
 
Total Debit Card Fraud 66,998 23,672,095

Note: For fraudulent transactions initiated at ATMs, POS terminals and other devices, the above statistics incorporate all transactions where either "cheque" or "savings" was selected, regardless of the type of card used (that is debit card, 'combo’ card, scheme card etc). The number of fraud transactions does not represent the number of cards or consumers affected. Typically, multiple fraud transactions are made on a single card.

Explanation of Proprietary Debit Cards Fraud Categories

Lost/Stolen - fraud resulting from the loss or theft of an existing card and a fraudulent transaction has taken place.

Card Never Received - fraud where a card has been intercepted (stolen) during delivery to the customer and used before it was received by the customer.

Counterfeit/Skimming - the use of altered or illegally reproduced cards including the replication/alteration of the magnetic stripe and/or changes to the details on the face of the card with intent to defraud Skimming is a form of magnetic-stripe counterfeiting in which criminals are able to copy magnetic stripe track information (including Card Verification Value - CVV) from a valid card. Information is then encoded on a counterfeit or stolen card and then used fraudulently.

Other - fraud that cannot be categorized under any of the other fraud type categories. This includes identity takeover and false applications etc.

Scheme Credit, Debit and Charge Card Fraud
Perpetrated in Australia and Overseas on Australia-issued Cards

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016
Category In Australia Overseas Total
Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 272,988 21,368,103 51,614 13,926,042 324,602 35,294,145
Never Received 67,268 7,601,493 2,876 596,092 70,144 8,197,584
Fraudulent Application 8,664 2,261,584 2,741 1,313,351 11,405 3,574,935
Counterfeit/ Skimming 24,519 7,255,237 91,518 33,394,159 116,037 40,649,396
Card Not Present (CNP) 828,660 175,567,939 1,392,943 242,052,169 2,221,603 417,620,108
Other 12,705 2,576,107 16,252 2,209,171 28,957 4,785,279
Total 1,214,804 216,630,463 1,557,944 293,490,984 2,772,748 510,121,447

Fraud Perpetrated in Australia on Cards issued Overseas

Category Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 15,010 2,843,755
Never Received 763 63,097
Fraudulent Application 605 133,791
Counterfeit/ Skimming 33,447 8,798,552
Card Not Present (CNP) 233,990 54,922,162
Other 1,579 876,285
Total 285,394 67,637,643

Note: The number of fraud transactions does not represent the number of cards or consumers affected. Typically, multiple fraud transactions are made on a single card.

Explanation of Scheme Credit, Debit and Charge Cards Fraud Categories

Lost/Stolen Card - fraud resulting from the loss or theft of an existing card and a transaction has taken place without the cardholder’s consent or authority.

Card Never Received - fraud where a card has been intercepted (stolen) during delivery to the customer and used before it was received by the customer.

Fraudulent Application - fraudulent applications are applications for card accounts using a fictitious identity, using someone else’s identity or providing false information during the application process.

Counterfeit/Skimming - the use of altered or illegally reproduced cards including the replication/alteration of the magnetic stripe and changes to the details on the face of the card with intent to defraud. Skimming is a form of magnetic stripe counterfeiting in which criminals are able to copy magnetic stripe track information (including Card Verification Value - CVV) from a valid card. Information is then encoded on a counterfeit or stolen card and used fraudulently.

Card Not Present (CNP) - the use of account information including pseudo account information without the physical card being involved, via the phone, mail, Internet etc. without the authority of the cardholder. This category also includes fraud where a card should normally be present (eg: in a retail transaction) but a merchant has chosen to accept the transaction based on a card number only and it turns out to be a fraudulent transaction.

Other - fraud that cannot be categorised under any of the other Fraud Type categories. For example fraud using imprints of cards at merchants, or use of an existing account without the authority of the cardholder by a person who gains access to and use of the account through an unauthorized means, such as a fraudulent change of address or request for re-issuance of cards (but not lost or stolen cards).