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Visa urges cardholders not to be complacent

Visa urges cardholders not to be complacent despite record low fraud levels
Simple tips for safe shopping this Christmas

Auckland, 8 December 2006 - Visa is urging Kiwi cardholders not to be complacent during the busy Christmas shopping season despite record low fraud levels and an increasing number of New Zealanders adopting flexible payment methods.

"Fraud in New Zealand is less than the world average and about half of what it was in 2000. This is despite strong growth in the number of cardholders and the growing popularity of more flexible and less traditional payment methods, including online shopping," said Visa International's Executive Vice President Australia & New Zealand Mr Bruce Mansfield.

"By being especially observant during peak shopping times shoppers can help Visa, the banks and merchants ensure that fraud rates continue to decline."

When shopping this Christmas cardholders can protect themselves by taking these simple steps:

 Always check sales vouchers, including the purchase amount when you sign them.
 Wherever possible make sure that your card is not out of your sight.
 Never disclose your personal identification number (PIN) to anyone. No one from a financial institution, the police or a merchant will ask for your PIN.
 Protect your cards as if they were cash and never leave them unattended.
 Never give your card number over the phone, unless you are dealing with a reputable organisation or you have initiated the call yourself.
 Ensure your bank is kept up-to-date with your contact information so they can call you to verify transactions that they deem to be suspect or fraudulent.

"Often shoppers become concerned that retail sales and checkout staff don't always check signatures on cards. While merchants are working closely with banks and with Visa to protect against fraudulent transactions, cardholders can be confident that if merchants don't take steps to check signatures and there is an error in their accounts the cardholder will not be held accountable for unauthorised transactions thanks to Visa's zero liability policy," said Mr Mansfield.

When shopping online cardholders can protect themselves by taking these simple steps:
 Use a secure web browser - look for an "s" after the "http" in the web page address or URL.
 Never send payment information via email. Most reputable merchant sites use Encryption technologies that will protect your private data from being accessed by others as you conduct an online transaction.
 Check delivery and return policies.
 Register for Verified by Visa to add safety when you buy online.

"Initiatives such as Verified by Visa also provide online shoppers with extra security. Visa cardholders can register with their bank to receive a personalised password. As they shop online they can enter the password during the checkout process, confirming they are the cardholder authorising the transaction," said Mr Mansfield.

For more information on Visa security initiatives and safety tips visit Visa's website to view Visa's Security Briefing Kit.


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