Online target ‘bigger than ever’ for Christmas credit card theft

ONLINE retailers and the credit card numbers of their customers are a growing target for thieves over Christmas, the Australian Retailers Association has warned.

Executive director Russell Zimmerman expected online thefts to be “bigger than ever” this festive season.

He said Australian shoppers were tipped to spend about $2.8 billion online in the six weeks to Christmas day meaning the number of “opportunistic hackers” would increase.

“Security is of huge importance online given the level of financial and personal details entrusted by shoppers,” he said.

“Measures to ensure this information remains safe should be reviewed by e-tailers.”

He predicted shoppers would spend about $46.8 billion during the festive rush and $1.4 billion, or 3 per cent, of stock would be stolen.

Mr Zimmerman said popular products for thieves were toys, batteries, cosmetics and electronic goods.

“Christmas is a prime time for thieves, because with more people in shops it allows more opportunity to slip under the radar unseen,” he said.

“Despite new and sophisticated technologies aimed at stopping these criminals, thieves are also becoming smarter and employing their own advances techniques to commit crimes,” he said.