Online Valentine's Day Fraudsters Attempt to Steal $68.3 Million

Consumers spent approximately $4 billion on Valentine's Day this year, a 36 percent jump in online spending from 2009. As more consumers shopped the Web in search of the perfect V-Day gift, payment fraudsters were more prevalent on the Internet.

Retail Decisions (ReD) reveals that approximately $68 million of attempted fraud took place online, up 49 percent year-over-year.

Fraudsters opted for high value "fashionable" products such as gift cards, cosmetic gift sets and designer handbags for their loved ones. Gift cards topped the genuine and fraudulent shopping charts. Fraudsters like gift cards because they are versatile and hold their resale value on the black market. The most popular Valentine's Day gifts in 2010 included makeup, perfume, handbags, the iPod Touch and Satellite Navigation Systems.

Here are tips to avoid the risk of online payment fraud:

· Report a card lost or stolen the moment you have noticed that it has gone

· Shred credit card statements before throwing them away

· Don't let cards or personal documents out of sight and keep them safe, especially when you are making a payment

· Sign new cards immediately

· Report any unfamiliar card transaction that appears on your statement immediately to your card issuer.
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