Posted by Nancy Anderson
Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel

Today in Washington, DC, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) and other leading industry and consumer protection organizations are announcing the worldwide launch of Internet Fraud Alert. It’s a new program to help make the Internet a safer and more productive place for consumers and businesses.

Through a centralized alert system powered by Microsoft technology and managed by NCFTA, Internet Fraud Alert provides a new, powerful tool to quickly inform financial and online companies about compromised customer account credentials (such as online usernames and passwords) or stolen credit card numbers. With this information, institutions can take action to protect their customers from further fraud against their accounts.

The effects of fraud can be devastating to people and the financial and online institutions whose services they use. Last year, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, one million U.S. households lost money or had accounts misused as a result of phishing, at a cost of $650 million. APWG’s recent data suggests that phishers are exploiting more brands than ever before.

 

As online fraudsters become increasingly sophisticated in their endeavors, so too have public/private countermeasures. But we’re not yet as effective as we could be. For example, when compromised or stolen account information is uncovered, there is no easy way to determine the company responsible for the account or how best to report the problem – which wastes valuable time and resources.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit works to defend against fraud and security threats and make the Internet safer for everyone. That’s why we’ve created and are sponsoring Internet Fraud Alert, working with the NCFTA, Accuity, the American Bankers Association (ABA), Anti-Phishing Working Group, Citizens Bank, eBay, Federal Trade Commission, the National Consumers League, PayPal and others. Together we aim to establish a trusted mechanism to alert institutions to compromised accounts so they can take action to protect consumers.

With today’s announcement of Internet Fraud Alert, we’re one step closer to ensuring that the Internet remains an open marketplace that consumers can trust and where businesses can thrive.

More information about Internet Fraud Alert can be found at http://ifraudalert.org. Consumers interested in learning more about staying safe online and limiting the risk of identity theft can visit Microsoft Online Safety, OnGuard Online and Looks Too Good to Be True. And for more information about the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, you can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter.