One in seven (17 per cent) Australians have been victims of bank card fraud in the past year - the equivalent of 3.4 million people.
The average victim lost $299.40 to scammers over the past 12 months - equating to a staggering $1.01 billion Australia wide.
The nationally representative Finder survey of 1,058 people revealed 11 per cent of Australians had been scammed and reported it, while 3 per cent hadn’t reported it.
A further 3 per cent of Australians had been a victim of bank card fraud in the past 12 months but didn’t realise until later that it was a scam.
NSW victims were the worst off, losing $429.40 each on average to scammers, compared to only $149.50 lost by the average South Australian victim.
Amy Bradney-George, credit card expert at Finder, said the losses were massive.
“It’s a very widespread problem - and shows how effective scammers have become at deceiving innocent Australians,” Bradney-George said.
The research showed Millennials were most likely to be targeted, with 27 per cent admitting they’d had their card details used fraudulently in the past 12 months, followed by 22 per cent of Gen Z.
“Beware of fake text messages and emails about purchases, prizes and deliveries,” Bradney-George said.
“Scammers are getting very sophisticated at impersonating big, trustworthy brand names, and some even pretend to be a family member or friend.”
Bradney-George said it was a “real worry” that 3 per cent of people who had been scammed never reported it.
“That’s potentially lost money at a time when the cost of living is rising, so every dollar really counts,” she said.
“It’s important to regularly check your transaction history through the official bank app or website.
“Contact your bank straight away if you find transactions you didn’t make or don’t recognise so that they can help you figure it out.”
Bradney-George said to never click on a link or hand over personal information without confirming you were dealing with a legitimate business.
“The same goes for messages from unfamiliar numbers if the sender is claiming to be someone you know,” she said.
People who detect a scam, regardless of whether they have lost money, can report it - and learn more about how to get help - on the Scamwatch website at scamwatch.gov.au.