Fraud Statistics
2016 Financial Year


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

Fraud Perpetrated on Australian Cheques and Cards

1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016 (Revised April 2017)
Fraud Transactions Total Transactions Fraud Rates
Number $ Number (millions) $ (millions) as % of total no. of transactions as % of total value ($) of transactions
Cheques 1,145 $9,370,983 126 $1,198,748 0.0009% 0.0008%
Australian-issued cards 2,671,158 r $522,180,657 r 7,666 $703,103 0.0348% 0.0743%
Proprietary debit cards 64,045 $22,216,115 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Scheme credit, debit and charge cards 2,607,113 $499,964,542 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 2,672,303 $531,551,640 7,793 $1,901,851 0.0343% 0.0279%

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.

Cheque Fraud Perpetrated in Australia

1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016
Category Actual Exposure Recoveries*
On-Us Fraud Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Value ($)
Valueless 3 736,921 477 50,525,793 744,594
Fraudulently Altered 409 3,260,417 670 9,940,916 750,261
Stolen Blank Cheque / Book 452 2,439,714 1,496 11,750,984 285,323
Originated Counterfeit Cheques 178 1,014,855 250 4,354,065 142,300
Non-originated Counterfeit Cheques 61 813,952 151 6,002,420 74,291
Breach of Mandate 26 974,358 23 1,134,645 57,107
On-Us Total 1,129 9,240,217 3,067 87,708,823 2,053,876
   
Deposit Fraud
Valueless 9 30,005 290 29,171,031 70,565
Valueless - Kite Flying 2 8,000 35 1,056,856 2,750
Third Party Conversion 5 92,761 31 530,502 89,666
Deposit Total 16 130,766 356 30,758,389 162,981
   
Total 1,145 9,370,983 3,423 114,467,212 2,216,857

* 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 July 2015 - 30 June 2016
Category Transactions Value ($)
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Used:
Lost/Stolen 10,156 2,594,502
Never Received 3,694 1,454,666
Counterfeit/Skimming 45,912 16,840,961
Other 3,129 1,082,144
PIN Used Total 62,891 21,972,273
 
Debit Card Fraud – PIN Not Used:
Lost/Stolen 518 55,321
Never Received 107 22,295
Counterfeit/Skimming 498 109,971
Other 31 56,255
PIN Not Used Total 1,154 243,842
 
Total Debit Card Fraud 64,045 22,216,115

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 July 2015 - 30 June 2016 (Revised April 2017)
Category In Australia Overseas Total
Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($) Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 256,530 19,581,565 49,236 14,750,355 305,766 34,331,920
Never Received 77,565 7,466,243 2,804 630,883 80,369 8,097,127
Fraudulent Application 6,000 1,157,260 3,491 1,480,807 9,491 2,638,067
Counterfeit/ Skimming 21,803 7,084,850 99,201 39,847,611 121,004 46,932,461
Card Not Present (CNP) 736,167 156,462,514 1,319,062 246,017,231 2,055,229 402,479,745
Other 14,631 2,731,979 20,623 2,753,245 35,254 5,485,223
Total 1,112,696 194,484,410 1,494,417 305,480,133 2,607,113 499,964,542

Fraud Perpetrated in Australia on Cards issued Overseas

Category Transactions Value ($)
Lost/ Stolen 16,533 3,401,478
Never Received 704 77,099
Fraudulent Application 480 141,398
Counterfeit/ Skimming 33,107 8,787,807
Card Not Present (CNP) 222,335 55,408,231
Other 1,293 570,570
Total 274,452 68,386,582

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 transactionhas 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).