Fraud Statistics
2012 Calendar Year


Fraud Perpetrated on Australian Issued Payment Instruments

1 January 2012 - 31 December 2012
Instrument No. of Fraud Transactions Value ($) of Fraud Transactions Total No. of all Transactions
(thousands)
Total Value ($) of all Transactions
($ million)
Fraud as % of Total No. of Transactions Fraud as % of total value ($) of Transactions
Cheque 608 9,723,770 224,369 1,206,919 0.0003% 0.0008%
Proprietary Debit Cards 44,587 15,767,360 3,221,634 289,546 0.0014% 0.0054%
Scheme Credit, Debit and Charge Cards 1,198,519 245,377,806 2,422,769 309,277 0.0495% 0.0793%
Total 1,243,714 270,868,936 5,868,772 1,805,742 0.0212% 0.0150%
Note:

Data for total number of all transactions and total value of all transaction is sourced from data published in the RBA Bulletin. The data is sourced from Table C6 for Cheques, Table C4 and C5 for the Debit Card (ATM-POS) Category and Table C1 and C5 for Credit/Charge Cards Category. 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.

Cheque Fraud Perpetrated in Australia

1 January 2012 - 31 December 2012
Category Actual Exposure Recoveries*
On-Us Fraud Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Value ($)
Valueless 3 15,855 768 4,093,080,359 458
Fraudulently Altered 176 1,996,742 371 7,350,287 702,666
Stolen Blank Cheque/Book 302 1,656,464 742 7,546,306 265,787
Originated Counterfeit Cheques 56 464,095 277 7,553,280 100,031
Non-originated Counterfeit Cheques 26 256,432 167 5,072,156 54,567
Breach of Mandate 30 5,233,716 42 756,556 14,871
On-Us Total 593 9,623,304 2,367 4,121,358,944 1,138,380
   
Deposit Fraud
Valueless 3 26,125 298 1,972,205,385 13,857
Valueless - Kite Flying 1 500 19 8,900,978 13,250
Third Party Conversion 11 73,841 32 386,182 66,456
Deposit Total 15 100,466 349 1,981,492,545 93,563
   
Total 608 9,723,770 2,716 6,102,851,489 1,231,943

Note: Cheque Fraud figures have been revised

* 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 2012 - 31 December 2012
Category Transactions Value ($)
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Used:
Lost/Stolen 18,452 4,253,261
Never Received 3,057 1,302,489
Counterfeit/Skimming 21,638 9,445,179
Other 1,328 722,924
PIN Used Total 44,475 15,723,853
 
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Not Used:
Lost/Stolen 58 12,978
Never Received 2 1,846
Counterfeit/Skimming 37 18,668
Other 15 10,015
PIN Not Used Total 112 43,507
 
Total Debit Card Fraud 44,587 15,767,360

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 2012 - 31 December 2012
Category In Australia Overseas Total
Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 84,016 14,455,356 21,970 8,328,761 105,986 22,784,116
Never Received 25,356 6,792,420 1,194 447,275 26,550 7,239,695
Fraudulent Application 5,189 3,410,995 274 93,059 5,463 3,504,054
Counterfeit/ Skimming 37,607 13,065,989 45,190 14,632,555 82,797 27,698,544
Card Not Present (CNP) 361,321 72,761,292 612,027 110,319,894 973,348 183,081,186
Other 3,017 714,071 1,358 356,140 4,375 1,070,210
Total 516,506 111,200,122 682,013 134,177,684 1,198,519 245,377,806

Fraud Perpetrated in Australia on Cards issued Overseas

Category Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 12,692 3,942,036
Never Received 334 71,151
Fraudulent Application 293 55,139
Counterfeit/ Skimming 44,841 11,933,324
Card Not Present (CNP) 103,284 29,642,591
Other 1,658 520,128
Total 163,102 46,164,369

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).