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Today's fraud detection systems are designed to prevent one-twelfth of one percent of all transactions processed which still translates into billions of dollars in losses.Card fraud begins either with the theft of the physical card or with the compromise of data associated with the account, including the card account number or other information that would routinely and necessarily be available to a merchant during a legitimate transaction.The credit card holder can be tracked by mail or phone.While there are safeguards to this, it is still more risky than presenting in person, and indeed card issuers tend to charge a greater transaction rate for CNP, because of the greater risk.This method may deter casual theft of a card found alone, but if the card holder's wallet is stolen, it may be trivial for the thief to deduce the information by looking at other items in the wallet. In Europe and Canada, most cards are equipped with an EMV chip which requires a 4 to 6 digit PIN to be entered into the merchant's terminal before payment will be authorized.
However, credit card fraud, that crime which most people associate with ID theft, decreased as a percentage of all ID theft complaints for the sixth year in a row.In some countries, a credit card holder can make a contactless payment for goods or services by tapping their credit (or debit) card against a RFID or NFC reader without the need for a PIN or signature if the total price falls under a pre-determined floor limit (for example, in Australia this limit is currently at 100 AUD).A stolen credit or debit card could be used for a significant number of these transactions before the true owner can have the account canceled. Card numbers – formally the Primary Account Number (PAN) – are often embossed or imprinted on the card, and a magnetic stripe on the back contains the data in machine-readable format.Card issuers have several countermeasures, including sophisticated software that can, prior to an authorized transaction, estimate the probability of fraud.For example, a large transaction occurring a great distance from the cardholder's home might seem suspicious.