Thursday, 03 March 2011

Connecticut Residents Lost $3.3 Million to Online Theft and Fraud

Connecticut residents lost $3.3 million to internet crime in 2010, according to a new national report released on Tuesday, 1 March 2011, with two of the most common complaints in the areas of identity theft and online auction fraud.

The joint Federal Bureau of Investigation/National White Collar Crime Centre's Internet Crime Complaint Centre recorded 2,551 complaints from Connecticut residents last year. The median loss for all complaints from state residents was $500, although the largest online crime involved identity theft that cost the victim $200,000.

The commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, which released the result of the report in Connecticut, said the information is an important reminder that people engaged in online commerce and other activities need to be more careful.

"Anyone who uses a computer is at risk for scams and fraud," said Commissioner William Rubenstein. "Consumers always need to take strong security measures by making sure home computers have the latest security software, by protecting personal identification information and by being highly suspicious if someone offers an online deal that's too good to be true".

A majority of the state victims of web crime were men ages 40 to 59, according to the report, and the most frequent crimes that Connecticut residents were victimised by were non-delivery of merchandise or failure to be paid for items that were delivered, identity theft and auction fraud.

From USA as a whole, the Internet Crime Complaint Centre received more than 300,000 complaints of theft in 2010, the second-highest number since the organisation was formed in 2000. The centre processes an average of 25,000 complaints per month, according to the report.

eSSL Receives Frost & Sullivan Market Share Leadership Award

eSSL was conferred the Frost & Sullivan Market Share Leadership Award in the Indian Biometric Market, at the 1st Annual Electronics Industry Excellence Awards Banquet held at Taj Ambassador, New Delhi, the Indian capital. eSSL provides biometric and RFID-based solutions, which cater to HR attendance and access control needs.

The increasing importance of the electronics sector in the overall GDP and the potential it holds for an emerging economy like India is well known. The Indian Electronics Industry was estimated to be worth $47 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $350 billion by 2020.

Frost & Sullivan reviewed the performance of different market participants in the biometrics market through primary research. The key officials within each company were interviewed to assess their relative position within the given market. The data thus obtained was subjected to intense analysis to narrow down on the award recipient.

eSSL has previously got the Market Strategy Leadership award for Electronic Access Control Systems (India) in 2007.

Starbucks Released iPhone, BlackBerry Apps

World famous coffeehouse chain Starbucks has introduced a new BlackBerry and iPhone apps, which allows its customers to quickly pay through their mobile phones. The app, which is funded through a credit or debit card, works when customers wave their phones over a barcode sensor to pay for their beverage of choice, and they no longer have to wait in line either.

Unlike a Starbucks card, users can see the balance in their account on their screens as money is added or debited, as well as loyalty program points. The app was test-marketed in New York in October 2010 before a US rollout last month in 6,800 Starbucks-owned shops.

Customers can also use the app, which is free and can be found in stores for iPhones and BlackBerrys, to buy the variety of items sold in Starbucks' shops, including packaged coffee, food and even CDs. Starbucks said that an app for users of Android phones is in the works.

ACS Introduces the AET65 Smart Card Reader with Fingerprint Sensor

Advanced Card Systems Ltd. (ACS) introduces the AET65, a Smart Card Reader with Fingerprint Sensor that uses biometric technology to enhance the security in many smart card applications.

The AET65 device uses the 1:1 algorithm which compares the scanned fingerprint with the fingerprint template stored securely in the smart card held by the user.

Developed from the ACR38U SAM core and UPEK'S highly durable swipe fingerprint sensor, which has been tested to endure over 10 million swipes. It is capable of performing multi-factor authentication. Moreover, the match-on-device authentication feature prevents all sensitive data from being exposed to various security threats. With these capabilities, AET65 provides high security in applications such as e-banking, e-payment, network security and logical access control.

AET65 supports ISO-7816 Class A, B and C cards, with the T=0 or T=1 protocol, and also has USB and PC/SC compliance for interoperability across various platforms and systems. Besides having an embedded default fingerprint algorithm, it can support many other popular third-party fingerprint algorithms, including those used in widely deployed national programs and those compliant with the most stringent global industry standards (such as the algorithm using Match-On-Card technology).

Western Union Offers Smartphone Foreign-Exchange Payment

The Western Union Company announced the launch of a new foreign-exchange (FX) payment service that will enable small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business clients to make payments from their smartphones.

The new mobile-friendly payment service is now available in countries where Western Union currently offers online payment and FX services through its Business Solutions division, including USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Australia.

The new service is designed for busy professionals and offers an intuitive interface for customers making international business payments. The service, which offers more than 140 currencies to choose from, allows users to make payments to suppliers in global markets anywhere, anytime, and lock in a currency-exchange rate and fee before transferring funds.

According to an IEMR Global Mobile Payment Market Forecast report, mobile payments will reach 1 billion users and the $1 trillion transaction mark in the next 5 years. To take advantage of this growing market opportunity, the service will allow Western Union Business Solutions clients and partners the ability to diverse foreign-exchange payment solutions that are flexible and easy to use.

Barclays to Acquire Egg

UK financial services company Barclays is reportedly considering buying the British credit card assets of online bank Egg from global financial services provider Citigroup, reports Reuters.

According to the source, Barclays is expected to integrate the Egg accounts into its Barclaycard credit card division to enhance its retail banking business. Egg's British credit card assets consist of 1.15 million accounts with over USD 3.75 billion of gross receivables.

The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2011. However, the price of the transaction has yet to be disclosed.

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