False identity

September 5, 1997

Plans to introduce photo credit cards to prevent fraud could have little impact, fear researchers at the Univesity of Westminster. Psychology researchers, keen to see whether the planned introduction of photo-bearing credit cards will reduce fraud, asked 44 undergraduates to buy goods in supermarkets using credit cards bearing genuine signatures.

The cards also bore photos; some recent, while others featured a change of appearance, a picture of a physically similar person or of a physically dissimilar person. The researchers found half the fraudulent cards were accepted, while there were many false rejections of non-fraudulent cards. They conclude the introduction of photo-credit cards would have little impact on fraud detection.

* See research papers

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