Australian crime chiefs have launched a scathing attack on contactless payment cards with claims that they are behind a myriad of different crimes that have caused an upsurge in crime rates.
Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay explained that the convenient cards are the key factor behind an increase in the state’s overall crime rate increase of five per cent.
“We’re seeing many, many theft of motor cars, handbags and burglaries where people are looking for these cards, are getting hold of them and within hours of getting them, they’re going into stores and using them,” he explained to ABC News Online. “So you’re getting this flow-on effect … mainly because of these types of offences.”
The number of deceptions has risen by 11,600, according to Lay, and it has been a major contributor to an overall increase of 48 per cent in deception crime over the past year.
Criminals are drawn towards the cards as no proof of ownership is needed to make purchases under $100 [£55] and Lay’s deputy Lucinda Nolan told The Register that children as young as 10 have stolen cards to make purchases identified as fraudulent.
On the other side of the coin MasterCard, a company that provides the technology to banks, said it has met with the Victorian Police Fraud Squad on a plethora of occasions and is still waiting for it to clarify where the stats came from.
“As both MasterCard and industry data reveals no increase in fraud specifically relating to contactless technology, we have asked Victorian Police to clarify the source and nature of their crime statistics relating to contactless fraud,” a statement read.
MasterCard Australia’s Andrew Cartridge added that its statistics didn’t show a rise in fraud against contactless cards and an independent fraud expert added that it was a “drop in the ocean” due to the fact Police often don’t receive crime reports on more damaging online fraud.