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Book Review: Credit Card Fraud

Preventing Credit Card Fraud: A Complete Guide for Everyone from Merchants to Consumers. By Jen Grondahl Lee and Gini Graham Scott. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers;; 264 pages; $36.

Credit card fraud is a huge issue. It keeps everyone, from banks and merchants to customers and police departments, up at night. Attackers are savvy and think of ways to break new credit card protection mechanisms, often only a few hours after they are implemented.

While the problem will never go away, in Preventing Credit Card Fraud: A Complete Guide for Everyone from Merchants to Consumers, Jen Grondahl Lee and Gini Graham Scott have written a most valuable guide that can be used by everyone within the credit card lifecycle to better protect themselves.

The book is written for two different audiences and divided into corresponding sections: "Protecting Yourself as a Consumer or Client" and "Protecting Yourself as a Merchant or Service Provider." Each provides a lot of information and helpful tips readers can put into play to ensure they don't become victims of credit card fraud.

For customers, the authors describe "free trial" scams, where devious merchants offer a free trial, but with odious terms and conditions. Customers supply valuable credit card information, and by the time they know what has happened, they are often on the hook for hundreds of dollars of worthless products.

For merchants, there is guidance on knowing your customer to obviate credit card fraud. But the authors don't paint a pretty picture, in that when fraudsters are caught, they rarely face jail time. And even when they do, it's often for insignificantly short sentences.

The rate of credit card fraud is not slowing down. Small efforts can go a long way toward avoiding becoming a victim. For those looking to put in the effort, Preventing Credit Card Fraud is a helpful and valuable guide..

Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), PCI, QSA (Qualified Security Assessor), is a principal security consultant with Nettitude.