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[19 DEC 00] CITY CENTRE COMPANY NEWS
Shoppers Asked For Thumbs Up To Fraud Fight

Shoppers in Coventry are to be asked to give their thumbprints when they buy goods by credit card or cheque to try and cut fraud.

An inkless record will be made of the thumbprint for people shopping at certain stores in the city centre particularly those where high-value purchases are made.

If the transaction is later found to be fraudulent police will then have a record of who committed the crime.

People who refuse to give a print can be asked for another form of identity. They can be refused the sale if they reject this as well.

The low-tech solution is being offered to solve the high-tech problem faced by many Coventry shopkeepers

Chris Brown, of the City Centre Company, which is behind the idea, said:

"Those stores targeted by fraudsters committing credit card and cheque crimes have been offered this facility.

"The thumbprint signature programme has been used in suburban shopping centres in other parts of the country with a great deal of success.

"It is not a universal remedy for this type of crime but it is a no frills, low-tech weapon in a retailer's armoury to fight offences that cost the commercial sector millions of pounds a year.

"It has been noted in other areas that fraudsters stay away from stores using this system. It is a simple device that allows us to trace those committing crimes of this type through their thumb prints.

"We anticipate that it would be particularly effective in outlets selling high-priced goods, such as jewellers' shops, but it would work equally well in any store that accepts plastic cards and cheques."
  
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The Giant Card Company, Coventry

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CWN / Business / A-Z / City Centre Company Coventry / 19 Dec 00

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