European credit card fraud soars

Credit card fraud in Europe soared by 50 per cent last year and a large proportion of the increase involved payments made by telephone or over the Internet, hitting consumer confidence in transactions over the Net and dampening the potential for expansion of e-commerce, according to the European Union. Fraud increased most in relation to remote payment transactions, especially on the Internet, the EU's executive arm said in a recently released document.

And while sales through e-commerce in recent years have exceeded the most favourable estimates, its potential is inhibited by lack of confidence in the privacy and security of payment transactions performed over the Internet.

Recently acquired data showed that even though Internet transactions represent only two per cent of all credit card usage, they account for half of customer complaints.

To respond to the rise in the number of illegal transactions, the EC has launched an ambitious three-year plan that aims to tackle fraud across Europe.

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