Web retailers should stop accepting transactions from customers using Yahoo and Hotmail email addresses, according to credit-reference agency checkmyfile.
The company said retailers accepting transactions from the popular web-based email services are up to seven times more likely to have to refund the owners’ credit cards due to fraudulent activity.
Customers are protected on the web by a chargeback scheme allowing them to reverse a credit card transaction if they don’t recognise a purchase, and checkmyfile said ecommerce firms are increasingly being caught out by identity thieves using Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s email tools.
“Most internet retailers have little defence against a chargeback, other than to blacklist the card on the National Chargeback Register,” said Barry Stamp, joint managing director of checkmyfile.
The company said fraudsters use yahoo.co.uk email addresses in seven out of 10 cases of identity theft, with yahoo.com and hotmail.co.uk addresses also ranking high on the list.
“Consumers who currently use such addresses may well be better off using a more conventionally based email address,” said Stamp.