MasterCard International is working with digital fraud detection company NameProtect to "aggressively combat" phishing and the brokering of illegally obtained credit card numbers online.
Rather than reacting to online fraud and identity theft after it has occurred, MasterCard said it would use NameProtect's technology to detect online scams in real time as they proliferate across the internet.
Working with law enforcement agencies, MasterCard and NameProtect will seek to dismantle "online tools and venues" before they can be used to steal personal information.
Sergio Pinon, senior vice president of MasterCard global security and risk services, said in a statement: "We are confronting identity theft head on by taking the fight directly to where credit card scams breed and spread.
"By identifying these illegal card number-swapping rings and working to close down these online 'credit card black markets,' as well as sites that are established solely to steal personal information, we can squash illegal activity before people's accounts are compromised."
NameProtect also will help protect MasterCard's own identity from being stolen by seeking out fraudsters attempting to spoof the MasterCard logo and other branding insignia to use for phishing attacks.
NameProtect's internet detection technology and systems monitor domain names, web pages, online discussions, spam email and other online formats to identify online trading rings, phishing attacks, and other forms of fraud, the moment each attack is launched online.
It will provide real-time reports to MasterCard, which will then be able to report illegal websites and other illegal online forums to the proper authorities such as the US Secret Service, FBI and Interpol.
MasterCard said it can immediately provide this information through its MC Alerts service to its nearly 25,000 member financial institutions, which can use it to protect themselves and prevent their millions of cardholders from having card accounts compromised.
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