Credit Card Fraud

Home Department written question – answered at on 5 April 2005.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of current efforts to reduce internet based 'card-not-present' credit card fraud.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

holding answer 16 March 2005

The Government works with the police and industry to tackle fraud and other online crime through a number of initiatives. A key factor in dealing with online fraud is prevention and education and the Government takes an active role in educating computer users about the risks of fraud committed through the internet. The Home Office website provides advice on avoiding internet fraud and the Home Office has also created, and maintains the 'e-tailing mini site', which forms part of the crime reduction website. The mini site provides information to help both businesses and consumers protect themselves specifically when using the internet.

The Home Office is represented on an industry-led Steering Group which aims to tackle 'Card Not Present' (CNP) fraud (which includes fraud over the internet). We support practical measures being introduced by the industry to increase levels of security for internet transactions. These include Address Verification Services (AVS) and Card Security Code (CSC), which inform merchants' decisions on whether to proceed with an order. AVS/CSC can provide immediate results, with APACS reporting that some merchants have reduced their fraud levels by up to 80 per cent. Card schemes MasterCard and Visa have also introduced the 3D Secure system, known as MasterCard Secure Code or Verified by Visa, which requires password verification for internet transactions. The work of the CNP Steering Group has also led to the production of a manual (Spot and Stop Card Fraud Retailer Pack) which aims to educate merchants on the dangers of CNP fraud and the steps which can be taken to prevent it.

Government are also involved in the development of Project Endurance, an initiative which will launch a computer and internet security public awareness campaign this year. The project is an alliance of public and private sector, which brings together a number of UK Government departments and law enforcement organisations with a number of high-profile private sector companies. This campaign is to be targeted at micro businesses and consumers, primarily aimed at helping these users gain confidence in using the internet, and protect themselves and their computer while online.

The Association for Payment Clearing Services (a banking industry body) considers that the recently announced increase in card not present fraud shows growth only in proportion to the increasing number of businesses now offering non face-to-face transactions, in particular over the internet.

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