Online Fraud the Phantom Menace

Recognising consumer fears about online credit card fraud as a stumbling block to Internet growth, the federal government has released a report about security measures for Web-based transactions.

Published by the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) and Australian Computer Society (ACS) it provides information to help consumers stay up-to-date on the facts about using credit cards online.

The report, titled The Phantom Menace: Setting the Record Straight About Online Credit Card Fraud for Consumers, features common security measures as well as examples of how Web-based credit card transactions can be safer than those that take place on the phone or with bricks and mortar retailers.

For example, the US National Consumers League Internet Fraud Watch reported that credit card transactions accounted for only three per cent of US online scams in 1999.

Federal IT Minister Richard Alston said the report is an important tool in dispelling some of the myths surrounding the use of credit cards online.

One of the most commonly held fears is that credit card details provided to an Internet shopping site will be stolen and used fraudulently, but Senator Alston said the chances of that happening are "extremely low".

"Research shows there is a strong perception that credit cards can be easily intercepted on the Internet but the likelihood of this occurring is relatively small," he said.

For a copy of the report visit http://www.noie.gov.au/creditcard

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