The Australian Federal Government has set up a new database designed to try and help law enforcement agencies identify gangs that are involved in credit card skimming crimes.
The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has launched a National Card Skimming Database, which is being piloted by Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.
Ellison said that, according to the ACC, organised gangs are ripping off up to $100 million per year from the Australian public. “Card skimming is one of the fastest growing financial scams in Australia, representing at least 50 percent of all credit card fraud,” Ellison said.
The new database is designed to aid law enforcement agencies in fighting credit card skimming, by storing and having available details of skimmed cards, including where and how the cards were skimmed.
According to a statement released by Ellison, skimming takes place when credit or eftpos cards are secretly skimmed using a small device which copies the information on the card's magnetic strip. “The information [is] then transferred to a blank credit card to be used without the victim's knowledge,” according to a statement from Ellison's office.
The plan is to run the pilot until the end of May this year. Financial institutions involved in the pilot include Visa, American Express, the Commonwealth Bank, the ANZ Bank, the National Australia Bank, St George, and Westpac.
Ellison's office cited other initiatives also in progress, designed to tackle card skimming. These include an ACC intelligence operation, and also an ID taskforce which is chaired by the Australian Federal Police to look at identity-related crime.