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Public alarm growing at lack of call centre security

Public suspicion about how companies handle their personal data is rising fast according to a new survey which shows that 63 per cent think this is the major reason for fraud.

And top of their list of poor providers are financial service companies who, the public suspect, have the highest level of breaches.

The research, carried out by Davies Hickman, identifies call centres as the most disturbing and dangerous place for any member of the public to be providing personal data.

"38 per cent of our survey said that call centre fraud stops them making purchases. This means as many as 18 million consumers agree the risk of fraud in call centres has made them reluctant to buy or pay for a product or service over the phone, damaging businesses ability to collect revenue," says the survey.

Phone payments made to call centres caused great anxiety for those surveyed with only 5 per cent believing that making a payment over the phone was completely secure. Some 50 per cent of them think that organised crime targets the call centres and call centre agents to access personal data.

Of those polled, some 2,000 from all parts of the United Kingdom, the following conclusions were revealed.

Only 18 per cent felt online payments were secure. Only 12 per cent felt chip'n pin was secure. The figures then plunged to 2 per cent who felt that smartphone apps were secure and finally only 1 per cent felt that card details sent by email were secure.

In sum this represents a growing, and costly resistance to many current methods of taking payments from customers and, while it may be impossible to assess the financial losses from these fears, there is little doubt that much of the public feel that convincing and secure payment methods are still absent.

We are frequently encouraged to believe that the public are hopeless at security but, it appears, this may no longer be quite so true.