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Card fraud is up

By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com
Monday, March 7, 2011
Posted: 11 am ET

Global card fraud is on the rise, according to an article by InformationWeek.

InformationWeek reports that 29 percent of financial services customers worldwide who use credit cards or debit cards have experienced card fraud in the past five years, according to a survey conducted in December 2010.

In the summer of 2009, just 18 percent of financial services customers worldwide reported being victims of card fraud.

The study was commissioned by ACI Worldwide, an electronic payment software developer, and conducted by Research Now, which surveyed 4,200 people in North America, Europe, Asia as well as Dubai and Brazil, InformationWeek reports.

Levels of card fraud vary by region. Forty-three percent of consumers in China and 32 percent of consumers in the United States have experienced card fraud in the past five years. In contrast, just 11 percent of consumers in the Netherlands reported being victims of card fraud in the past five years.

Instances of card fraud in the Netherlands are low because, as in most of Europe, credit cards and debit cards use "chip and PIN" security to protect cards when making point-of-sale purchases, InformationWeek reports.

To protect yourself from card fraud, it's important to stay on the alert. These tips can help.

Get in the habit of monitoring your bank statements and credit card statements on a regular basis and report any unusual transactions to your bank or card issuer.

Be sure to keep your contact information with your bank or credit card issuer updated. If they don't have your current phone number, they may have difficulty reaching you if a suspicious charge appears on your account.

Make copies of the customer service number from the back of your debit card and credit cards. Keep this list separate from your purse or wallet.

Planning to do some traveling? Be sure to alert your bank and credit card issuers of your travel dates and destinations. If you don't, they may think a thief is making those purchases and shut down your cards. For more advice on protecting your cards and your money when traveling, check out these tips.

If you suspect a thief has swiped your bank account or credit card account information and is making fraudulent transactions, these 12 steps will help you clear your name.

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