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Combating Credit Card Fraud For Christmas

Combating Credit Card Fraud For Christmas

Westpac and the New Zealand Retailers Association urge safe credit card use

Westpac is joining forces with the New Zealand Retailers Association to educate Christmas shoppers and retailers about the importance of safe credit card use.

Over the last year business customers and cardholders have experienced losses exceeding several million dollars. Based on Visa statistics, credit card fraud in New Zealand has doubled from 0.06% of turnover in 1997 to 0.12% in 2001. The biggest single credit card fraud committed last year was $5 million. Over half of fraudulent transactions are made over the Internet - even though they make up only 4% of transactions.

Westpac’s Safe Credit Card Use campaign reminds shoppers and retailers how to prevent being defrauded, particularly over the Christmas period, when credit card use is at its highest.

John Albertson, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Retailers Association, says banks and credit card schemes invest substantial resources in reducing credit card risk, but there is no substitute for sound business practices at the point of sale. “The impact of fraud on businesses can be severe. Businesses lose the goods plus are held liable for the payment.

“Some retailers do not follow safe credit card use principles as closely as they should. An authorisation is not a guarantee that the cardholder has legitimate use of the card. It merely confirms that the order of the credit card numbers are correct, there are funds in the account and there are no stops on the card. Fraudulent signatures can also be a problem. Retailers need to ensure they check every signature.”

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