Fear of Online Credit Card Fraud Outweighs Statistics

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About 81 percent of consumers cited interception of credit card data as their primary concern about shopping online, according to a Jupiter Media Metrix survey of 2,473 U.S. consumers released this week.


Jupiter claims this fear is based more on media hype than on a real security risk.


Visa reported that online credit card fraud rates are $0.25 to $0.28 per $100 spent vs. $0.07 for all transactions. The FBI recently reported that it classified 26 percent of all U.S. online transaction complaints as fraud. Jupiter claims that media sources use more dramatic numbers from attitudinal surveys when publishing articles and reports on the subject, which tends to alarm consumers.


Jupiter outlined a three-tier classification system for financial institutions to combat "inaccurate publicity" regarding credit card fraud. The system is divided into:


· Threat: when experts have discovered a potential risk to payment records, but no consumers have reported any specific fraud.


· Breach: when security has been compromised, allowing actual unauthorized access to payment records, yet no consumers have reported a known fraud.


· Fraud: when security is compromised, unauthorized access to private records occurs, and authorities document cases of fraud.


Other factors listed by consumers that have deterred them from buying online include the possibility of credit card data being sold (77 percent), junk mail (63 percent), misuse of credit card data (59 percent) and a preference for anonymous payment (22 percent).


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