safe to buy on the internet?
I get quite irritate about the misinformation presented by "experts", usually on the television, on this topic.
You are protected when you use your credit by the PIN number. Whether or not a four digit number represents security is not something I intend discussing here, this is purely when purchasing on the Internet, here the PIN number doesn't matter..
We all know that you never give out our pin number so if you buy via the Internet so that makes any transaction CNP or Card Not Present. The company accepting the order from you is at much higher risk. Should the transaction turn out to be fraudulent e.g. an individual has used your card without your consent, you will get a refund.
When you dispute the transaction the bank will (typically) send you form to claim the funds back. The bank, in turn, will retrieve the funds from the retailer that has fallen victim to the fraudulent transaction. It is always the retailer that ends up footing the bill. The retailer looses the goods, payment and transaction costs.
The retailer usually goes to great lengths to avoid getting caught this way, the banks provide a modicum of assistance but not much. The retailer will check the card address against the card number, or rather the bank will, as well as card dates, issue and security numbers and if all looks OK the transaction confirmed.
We run two ecommerce sites at the moment and have seen our costs escalate over the years as the banks find ways to increase charges. If we are unsure of a potential customers details it can cost £5 to check with the card acquirer, if we come across a fraudster it is unlikely that the police (or banks) will show any interest, well they certainly haven't in the past.
When I see figure like the banks have lost £x million in fraudulent transactions I wonder if that means retailers have lost £x million in fraudulent transactions, I really would like to know.
There used to be Internet sites (most of them have gone apparently) where you could buy credit card details for very little money. The sources of card details are many and could be
- UK and Overseas call centres
"The illegal world of Internet crime is no longer perpetuated by spotty teenagers, it is attracting intelligent adults, very often, in some of the world's developing countries such as Brazil and India," said Guy Bunker, chief scientist at Symantec.
- Details written down on scraps of paper and thrown in litter bin
- Cameras installed over ATM's - see this
- Till receipts - retailer copy has card details on it
- General card skimming - see this (no sound)
to show but a few.
How to protect yourself from fraudulent web shops. Always makes sure that the web shop has a physical address that checks out. When you get to the purchase phase make sure the shop is running under the yellow padlock or green bar (an https:// address, non-secure are just http://). Other points to watch out for are if the price is to good to be true it probably is! Just be aware of the shop itself, score points on the things that you notice, if in doubt give it a wide birth!