Recent news stories have reported that fraudsters are exploiting the systems designed to save and protect confidential bank card details. The Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code systems are used by cardholders worldwide with many major banks requiring their customers to use them. The effectiveness of the systems is not in doubt, but impersonation of the secure pages is a real security risk to customers.
According to the BBC, online internet security software experts at Cambridge University believe that the systems encourage people to enter their confidential information into pages that they cannot be sure are genuine and they could end up liable for the loss:
"Criminals are impersonating Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure Code websites and collecting confidential customer data, for example their password, their ATM pin [or] their card number," said Steven Murdoch of Cambridge University.
Bank customers have reported transactions made without their authorization after using what they believed were authentic card verification pages. In response to reports of abuse of their system, Visa states that this type of fraud is uncommon and is actively monitored - bogus pages are identified very quickly and taken offline.
To make sure you only use genuine card verification websites, a personal assurance message can be set when you register for these services. Each time you enter your details into a bona fide secure card identification page, this message appears to assure you the site is genuine and the retailer is reputable.
When using credit cards online, you should always check any website used to make payments to make sure that the transaction is made using a secure connection - look for ‘https://’ in the browser address window. Also, be extra careful with the passwords you use for shopping sites that allow you to register card details to be stored online to facilitate ‘one click’ shopping. These passwords should use random alpha-numeric characters, a combination of upper and lower case, and be changed regularly to remain secure.