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Police urge merchants to tighten payment security

Bermuda Police Service is urging vendors to tighten up on security measures for credit-card payments amid an increase in cybercrime during the pandemic.

Superintendent Nick Pedro, officer in charge of the BPS Serious Crimes Division, said the most frequent type of local cybercrime was credit-card fraud, using stolen card numbers.

“Since April we have seen an increase in cyber-related crimes being committed locally,” Mr Pedro said.

“We have not finalised numbers as we have not yet reached the end of the third quarter.”

Credit-card fraud can be costly for merchants, but Mr Pedro said vendors could greatly reduce their chances of being impacted by taking some simple measures.

“For online purchases, we are urging vendors to implement password authentication systems such as ‘Verified by VISA' or MasterCard's Identity Check system,” he said.

“This adds a layer of security where the customer is asked for a PIN or other piece of information that would not be known to the criminal who has illegally obtained a credit-card number.

“Also, for in-store purchases we are strongly encouraging businesses to require identification for purchases to match the name on credit cards presented for purchases. Overall, due diligence with credit-card purchases is encouraged.”

Mr Pedro was speaking after a cybercrime seminar hosted by the Police last week and attended by businesspeople.

He said: “The BPS Specialist Investigations Department has the core remit for investigating these cases. Supported by digital forensic officers, analysts, and financial investigators there are many officers who have a role to play in cybercrimes.

“Because these events involve financial transactions, drugs, and other related criminal activity, we take a team approach to investigating cyber matters. The technical aspect of forensically analysing computers is staffed with three officers.”

He added that detectives had been taking on additional cases that have a cyber component during the pandemic.

Cybercrime warning: Superintendent Nick Pedro of Bermuda Police Service (File photograph)

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Published September 11, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 10, 2020 at 9:27 pm)

Police urge merchants to tighten payment security

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