E-tailers gang up to fight online credit card fraud

A service to be launched by IMRG will allow online retailers to share information about fraudsters quickly, safely and at very little cost

A new scheme to fight online fraud has been given the go-ahead this week, having won backing from the e-retail industry.

The “IMRG Security Alert” service will enable e-retailers to safely share lists containing fraudsters’ details with each other. The scheme is scheduled to go live at the end of this month and so will be available to protect merchants during the key Christmas and January sales shopping periods.

IMRG managing director Jo Tucker says: “Online fraud is costing retailers millions of pounds each month and must be checked. Our aim is to reduce e-retail fraud by enabling UK merchants to share usable intelligence about fraudsters quickly, safely and at low cost.” This information includes names and addresses and credit card numbers. All data will be stored in compliance with EU rules on data protection.

Leading merchants that have already applied for the service include: Argos Direct, Blockbuster, Carphone Warehouse, Digital Wellbeing, dvd.co.uk, figleaves.co.uk, Greenfingers.co.uk, Lastminute.com, Ocado, Petplanet.co.uk, Screwfix, Thinknatural.com and Zoom.

The move is part of IMRG’s ongoing “Fighting Online Fraud” initiative, and is billed as “entirely complementary” to all other major anti-fraud schemes online, such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard’s SecureCode.

IMRG chief executive James Roper says: “Many retailers have unofficially shared information about fraudsters with their competitors for years, but their information has been inconsistent and patchy, and therefore of limited value. Many have been lulled into a false sense of security, having experienced little or no online fraud, only to find that they are then hit suddenly and massively.”

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