Just received a press release from the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS) that claims that Internet fraud accounts for a quarter of all consumer card losses.
Apparently, in the first six months of this year, UK cardholders lost a whacking £14.4 million through fraud - an increase of £10.5 million on the year before.
The release quotes Sarah Quinn, APACS' director of communications, as saying that almost everyone with access to the Internet will buy something online this Christmas and, whilst there is no reason why
they shouldn't do so in complete confidence, there are a set of top ten tips that the Association advises.
The tips are available on Web sites such as cardwatch.org.uk and banksafeonline.org.uk.
Earlier this year I was amazed to discover that more two thirds of online card purchases involved UK cardholders using a debit (Switch/Maestro or Visa Delta) card.
I'm amazed as, if you use a credit card online, you get stacks more protection, mainly because it's the bank's money, rather than your own.
Oh, sure, the can send you a bill at the end of the month and if you don't pay, tab you for interest and other stuff, but if they take you to court, the card issuer has to prove that the debt is due.
If the debt is the result of unauthorised purchases by a third party, I doubt the card issuer would have a leg to stand on.
What's that you say? Crap like this could affect your credit rating?
Yes, quite possibly, but I dare say that if your credit rating gets dented as a result of the card issuer's stupidity, you'd have a nice case for compensation, especially if you're an inveterate complaining letter-writer (aka a sad git) like me!
fx: sounds of maniacal laughter from behind Steve's PC screen...