UK payments association Apacs is warning consumers about online fraud over the busiest online shopping weeks of the year in the run-up to Christmas by launching a fraud awareness campaign to promote the online security systems provided by Visa and MasterCard.
Plastic card spend online is expected to reach GBP3 billion this Christmas as a growing number of consumers turns to online shopping to avoid the overcrowding and stress of the high street.
Although confidence in purchasing over the internet is clearly increasing, consumers are still exposing themselves to potential card fraud. A third of online shoppers claim to proceed with purchases without being 100% positive the website is secure, with the biggest risk-takers falling in the 16 to 24-year-old category, Apacs says.
Apacs has strongly recommended that online consumers should register with either Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode whenever they are given the option of doing so. These services are designed to prevent fraudsters using stolen card details online.
During registration, the cardholder will choose a private password, so cardholders are able to identify themselves as the genuine cardholder by giving a password.
Our research has shown that nearly half of those who shop online do so more at Christmas than any other time of the year and just over a quarter of that group will do about half of their Christmas shopping online, commented Sandra Quinn, director of corporate communications at Apacs. We would therefore urge them to arm themselves against the fraudsters by signing up where possible to Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode for a stress and hassle-free shopping experience this Christmas.