Fraud figures show need for credit card security


The importance of taking care when using credit cards online has been underlined by new internet security figures. Statistics show that many Europeans lost money as a result of fraudulent card use in 2010, prompting efforts to emphasise examples of good practice when using the internet.

parent-child Statistics highlight internet security risks
Britons who regularly go shopping online are advised to improve their internet security, after new figures revealed that the UK has the second highest rate of financial loss due to card fraud in Europe. A Eurostat report published for Safer Internet Day (February 8th) shows that 7% of British internet users suffered financial loss in 2010, through phishing or pharming attacks or fraudulent payment card use. This compares with a European average of just 3%.

Tips for online credit card use
The Eurostat figures show that 88% of Britons who went online last year used security software to protect their computer and personal information. However, there are plenty of other steps that internet users can take to protect themselves against credit card misuse and other causes of financial loss.

Many frauds begin with an email asking for confirmation of the recipient's bank or credit card details. Banks never request personal information via email, so this type of communication should be deleted. Internet users should also be wary of emails suggesting they have won a large prize and requesting bank account details or an initial cash deposit.

When shopping online, secure venders can be identified by the 'padlock' symbol in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser. Credit card users are also advised to sign up for Verifed by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code. These services provide an extra layer of security when making online credit card transactions. Once the purchase is complete, cardholders should log out of their website account and ensure they save their confirmation email. Particular care should be taken when purchasing from overseas.

See related: British teen linked to $12 million card fraud; ID theft cover: Do you really need it?; Special police unit targets card fraud

Published: 22 February 2011