Identity Fraud

Last Tuesday, I received a call from my bank in connection with my credit card asking to check the validity of certain transactions.  One in particular, a mobile top up at Tesco’s, was patently fraudulent as none of my family have top up mobiles.  Unfortunately, this is now the 3rd time I have had to replace my credit card in the space of 10 weeks.  One of the occasions was when my wife had her bag stolen in Spain, (we have joint cards), but the other 2 were for identity fraud issues.

Despite the introduction of chip and PIN, the incidents of credit card fraud is as high as ever and with telephone and internet transactions increasing all the time, there seems no sign of it reducing.  I now have to carry around in one way or another, a proliferation of different passwords, PIN numbers and other identifying information to verify my identity yet some bod in Tesco’s can make use of my number with what would appear to be consummate ease.

A solution doesn’t come to mind immediately, but I do believe that in this day and age, we can find better ways of protecting identity than are currently operated.  On the internet, I know that with my bank, having the card and a number on the back is not sufficient.  I am always asked for additional PIN numbers as the internet merchant bank of the retailer I am buying from interacts with my host bank.  This is something that works well and I think should be used by all banks although in these difficult times, it’s probably not at the top of their list.  The bigger problem is probably telephone sales when the card holder is not present.  Nevertheless, a solution must be possible.

Of course, the cost of all this fraud both in financial terms to banks who often underwrite such losses  must be substantial. 

Anyway I am on my fourth card now which I am expecting to receive today and I hope I will be able to keep it a little bit longer than the last three.