January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

With Fraud, Fear Outpaces Reality

Despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, credit card theft affects few online shoppers, a recent joint survey by BizRate.com (www.bizrate.com), an online merchant rating and marketing research firm, and Shop.org (www.shop.org), a trade association of online retailers.
     Of nearly 13,500 online consumers polled, 58% expressed concern that their credit card numbers would be stolen during transmission to an online merchant, yet less than 2% actually had experienced that.
     "Our findings are solid evidence that shopping online with a credit card is extremely safe," says Paul Bates, vice president of BizRate's information products group. "These results make a significant statement about the overall health of e-commerce and its tremendous potential for the future."
     In addition, the survey found that, even among the few online shoppers that had experienced credit card fraud, 94% were in the process of using a credit card to make an online purchase at the time they were surveyed.

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