Credit Cards - Online Safety

By: David Collins

According to research carried out by a banking research firm, there has been a worrying increase in cases of credit card fraud.

Losses from such fraud totalled over ?535 million last year - an increase of around 25% compared to the previous year. Such an increase is coupled with a surge in crimes using stolen bank details - usually from overseas.

It is believed that since the introduction of chip-and-pin technology in 2003, credit card fraud has taken a tumble, thanks largely to the change in technology and increasing public awareness of safety while using their cards.

Because of this increased awareness on safety of credit cards and the dangers of scams and 'phishing' schemes, losses from online banking have fallen by a third since last year.

However, recent statistics have revealed that whilst some areas of credit card fraud have been decreasing, some areas have been on the increase. The levels of card-not-present fraud - which includes chip-and-pin and internet sales - has seen an increase of over 35%, almost double compared to in 2004.

As more of us are now opting to pay for online shopping, so we need to be more aware of potential dangers and ensure that we're not presenting our bank and credit card details to unwelcome observers.

By keeping an eye on certain factors when buying online, so we can reduce our chances of our details falling into the wrong hands:


  • Only use websites that use secured payment pages (look for sites which have 'https' before the site name)

  • If you're unable to pay using your credit card directly through the site itself, use a secure online payment system, such as PayPal, in order to make payments online. Some retail sites offer the chance to use this service as an alternative to their own payment service.

  • Only buy from sites which you're sure are safe, if you're unsure about the security of a certain site, don't be afraid to look for safer alternatives - even if it may mean having to pay slightly extra.

  • If you should receive any suspicious e-mails that enquire about your personal details, or are about transactions you don't remember making, do not respond under any circumstances and report these to your internet service provider and bank/credit card company immediately.


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