An online guide to fraud -- which outlines ways to steal credit card details over the Internet and re-use them to defraud Net businesses -- has caused concern among banking experts who fear that the service could inspire criminal activity.
The handbook to Internet fraud is provided by a US-based company called Ad Cops. For a signing-on fee of £69, the site explains in detail how to capture credit card numbers and passwords with email and Web page scams and then re-use these details without getting caught.
Ad Cops claims that its "Fraud Museum" helps online merchants stay ahead of Internet fraudsters. "Adcops is an ally of merchants worldwide," reads a company statement on the Ad Cops Brian Capon, Head of Media Relations Web site. "Our mission is simple...to educate merchants about fraud so they can make a profit and stay online. With all the doom and gloom about dot.com's, it's in all of our best interests for merchants to survive and the Internet continue to grow."
Some, however, have reservations about the service. Brian Capon head of media relations for the British Bankers Association suggests that it could be misused. "Once that sort of information is public knowledge, it does have an impact on security," he says. "Anything which encourages people to defraud anyone else, is not responsible."
Research indicates that Internet fraud is a growing problem. A report published last month by US firm Meridien Research concluded that Net fraud would reach £10bn by the year 2005.
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