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Visa and Mastercard turn the screws on online fraudsters

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Credit card companies are tightening up their security procedures following a massive rise in card fraud last year.

Visa and Mastercard have launched a joint initiative that will end with card holders being required to submit more detailed information when using cards for purchases over the phone or online.

Fraudulent transactions worth £190 million were made in the last year, according to the Association for Payment Clearing. Although only £4 million of this is thought to be Internet related, the ecommerce boom has driven the issue into the public eye.

The two card giants are reportedly planning to put a three-digit number of the back of all newly issued cards. This number will also have to be given when paying for goods in any way other than in person. Confirmation of a home address will also be required.

Other reports suggest that card companies are thinking of ditching signatures entirely, and moving to a pin number system that has to be typed in at the point of purchase, as is currently used in France.

According to some industry specialists, as many as 10 per cent of online credit card transactions may be fraudulent. It is widely known that the Internet is used as a testing ground for stolen cards and card numbers. Numbers that work are then used in the manufacture of fake cards. ®

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