Shopping online is fraudsters paradise

A massive 97 percent of UK online retailers were victims of credit or debit card fraud last year, according to security software firm Experian Information Solutions Inc.

Internet fraud, mainly through purchases on stolen cards, cost businesses a whopping £96m (AUD$251 million) last year.

But despite the obvious threat, only 28 percent of online retailers bother to make manual checks to see if a card has been reported stolen. And of even more concern, 17 percent of retailers still do not consider the threat of fraud a serious one.

"We believe [these high figures] are totally unnecessary especially when you consider the wide availability of tools to combat online fraud," said Gareth Jones, fraud products director at Experian.

"Many retailers are not using any external information to verify a customer's name and address before authorising an online transaction," added Jones.

It is clear that online transactions are boosting the profits of retailers; 90 percent of retailers said they had seen a rise in income in this sector, but only around three percent actually set some of their budget aside for improving online security.

"This is an age-old concern, whether shopping online or on the high street," said a spokesman at the Consumers Association. "People need to feel confident that the seller is doing his best to protect their details and keep their information safe. But to do that, all companies need to take the threat of fraudulent activities seriously."

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