MasterCard comes looking for scammers

Credit card firm MasterCard is stepping up the fight against identity theft.

The firm is specifically targeting phishing - identity theft email schemes - by teaming up with security firm NameProtect to detect the scams in real-time.

The firms are aiming to work with law enforcement agencies and plan to dismantle identity theft websites before scammers steal any data.

They are also looking to prosecute cyber criminals 'to the fullest extent of the law', the firms said.

"We are confronting identity theft head-on by taking the fight directly to where payment card scams breed and spread," said Sergio Piñòn, senior vice president for MasterCard Global Security and Risk Services. "By identifying these illegal card number-swapping rings and working to close down these online payment card black markets, we can squash illegal activity before people's accounts are compromised."

NameProtect has been employed to help protect MasterCard's brand being stolen by tracking down the scammers. NameProtect will use internet detection technology to monitor domain names, web pages and online discussions to identify online trading rings.

NameProtect will then provide real-time reports to MasterCard.

MasterCard said it can provide the information to nearly 25,000 member financial institutions. It was unclear from the information MasterCard gave whether customers would be entitled to the information.

According to the most recent data from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, there were 1,125 unique attacks in April -- a 180 per cent increase over March.

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