According to a report by the Australian Crime Commission, criminals in Australia can buy person's credit card details in less than one dollar, allowing them to fleece millions of dollars from accounts.
According to a commission official, Warren Gray, credit card information was the most commonly sold item in the underground economy in 2009 while most offences were committed overseas.
Since then, the number of online frauds with Australian-issued cards has nearly doubled. And so has the amount of money fleeced, from almost 90 million dollars in 2009 to 197 million dollars last year, the report said.
Launching a new education program to help Australian businesses combat online fraud, Gray said organised criminal groups had gone beyond using card skimmers and were now increasingly hacking computer systems to steal information.
"Stolen card data, including credit card numbers, can be purchased for less than one dollar each if purchased in bulk," the Sydney Morning herald quoted Gray, as saying.
"'Once this data is in the wrong hands it can be used to buy often multiple and expensive items, online or via the telephone. In many cases, the victims are unaware that their information is being stolen, as their credit card - or debit card - still remains untouched in their wallets," he added.
The Australian Payments Clearing Association has created the free education program to give business owners tips on how to protect customer information and themselves from online fraud, the paper said.
The association's chief executive, Chris Hamilton, also said internet-based card fraud was increasing in Australia, it added.