BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Stephen Gibbs
"The anonymity of the internet enables criminals to make cross-border purchases"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 07:24 GMT
Credit card fraud rises by 50%
Cards
About 600m euros of illegal transactions on stolen cards
Credit card fraud in the European Union increased by 50% last year.

Much of the increase involves payments made over the internet or the telephone, and could hit consumer confidence in e-commerce.

Credit cards were not made to function on the internet

Commission source

The European Commission says it is determined to stop the fraud, which accounted for 600 million euros ($553m) in illegal transactions in Europe last year.

An EU spokesman said that while e-commerce sales were buoyant, their potential was "inhibited by lack of confidence in the privacy and security of payment transactions performed over the internet".

Recent data has shown that internet transactions represent only 2% of all credit card usage, but account for half of customer complaints.

The ease of internet crime

The anonymity of the internet enables criminals to make cross-border purchases with stolen credit card details at relatively little risk of being caught.

On Monday, the Commission launched a three-year plan to tackle credit card fraud.

The plan includes a new toll-free number across Europe for consumers who have lost their credit cards or been online fraud victims.

New technical measures are also being developed to prevent fraud, such as electronic chips in credit cards.

Major payment organisations such as Visa, American Express and MasterCard have already started working together to raise security standards on the Internet.

"Credit cards were not made to function on the Internet," said a Commission source.

"There is a real need of safer payment systems that we hope the industry will deliver."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

30 Jan 01 | Business
Credit card crack down
09 Jan 01 | Business
Credit card boom warning
21 Dec 00 | Business
Credit card costs 'slashed'
24 Jan 01 | Business
Sealing online bills on the move
14 Sep 00 | Business
Web fraud made easy
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories