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2007-01-25 13:10:00

Credit cards are becoming an integral part of financial transactions conducted in great numbers every day. Credit card deals are being constantly made but even the best credit card companies' cards and their users are not protected from one of the most troublesome financial diseases - identity theft. Are you on the way of applying for a credit card and making the best credit card deal? Then you should be aware of the possibility to become a victim of a special sort of criminal earning bread by using your personal data to get access to your accounts in banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions.

So, identity information is being misused to commit fraud. As a result of careless storage of personal data on the part of financial institutions and credit cards companies, numerous fraudulent transactions are committed and victimized consumers are losing their money and getting their credit ratings damaged.

No doubt, financial looses which are partly compensated by credit card companies and merchants, are not that notable and annoying as the credit damage which can take years to recover and completely clear one's name.

How do the criminals manage to take in financial institutions and you to make your credit card deal work for them? Well, if we look many-many years back, impersonation has always had its place to be among different types of frauds, only the means of effecting it were different.

But today, with the dramatic rise of information and its relatively free accessibility, your personal data such as on your credentials, driving licenses or credit cards is becoming an easy game. Personal information is frequently being reported to be stolen from banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions.

No matter what we do - fill out online credit card applications, obtain things on the Internet or visit a web site, we inevitably have some of our personal data on the third-party computer and as more information is collected and sold, the track of it is lost and its privacy becomes more exposed to fraud.

After that, the so-called "stolen identity" is used by a criminal to open a new bank account in your name and to commit fraudulent transactions which imbue their pockets and ruin yours.

So, what can possibly be done to protect your identity and prevent your best credit cards such as low rate credit cards, no fee credit cards and best reward credit cards from illegal use?

Well, it's not so much the abused privacy of your personal data as the ease with which your personal data is used to commit fraud. And it's exactly the thing banks and credit card companies should be liable for.

The solution should be found immediately and the measures to achieve reduction in credit card deal frauds should be firm and strong. It is becoming more and more evident that the best way out of this situation is making credit card companies and banks liable for the cost of fraudulent transactions, namely for sending erroneous information to credit bureaus based on fraudulent transactions. And it is not the merchants that should be pushed actual costs onto.

We've got to think out some economic incentives to make credit card companies and banks take measures to eliminate identity theft that undermines the whole financial system of the country. It is urgent to mitigate the risk of identities stolen by working out security technologies and incentives to apply them.

Thus, it will make financial institutions responsible for fraudulent transactions and keep the best of credit card deals you ever make and your credit ratings safe and favorable.

So far, we see no other way out and anything less cardinal is not likely to make any use.

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