With the abundant use of credit cards today, and especially the abundant use compounded by the secret avenues of the world wide web, can put the common consumer in a substantially dangerous position to becoming a victim of fraud. Much like computer viruses and the necessary adjustments made by internet providers, credit card companies and merchants are vigilantly trying to combat fraud as it occurs and thinking of new ways to pre-empt it before it can hit you. The cost of credit card fraud is very high, over 700 million pounds in the UK alone in 2006 so finding ways to anticipate and stop the damage caused by fraud, is much like the credit industry itself, very big business. Everyone today wants a piece of the fraud protection market. Some credit card companies offer their own incentives and programs and advertise them through clever ads starring Donald Trump, Viking marauders, and unwitting customers channeling the voices of the thieves who made them victims. Internet sites like Scambusters dot com and Merchant911 dot org can protect consumers and merchants. Often these services can be free, or just providing a forum which consumers and merchants can share information regarding recent fraud scams. Even email, which can easily be harvested for numbers being sent back and forth in transactions, is a medium through which consumers can communicate with each other about impending threats or even fraud scams in progress. Though the elimination of fraud completely is impossible, its reduction is possible due to recent innovations in fraud protection such as security chips, picture id’s and the awareness of online merchants. Company databases often un-wittingly supply a massive amount of credit card information to hackers, being conveniently kept it all in one place. Often the merchant itself might be responsible for payment of the fraud if it is found that improper steps were taken to ascertain the purchaser’s identity and adequately protect the identity of the consumer. The purchases most at risk for fraud are card not present purchases. Sites like Merchant911dotorg list fraud screening sites like: FraudSmack, preCharge, MaxMind, Cardinal Commerce, WhyLabs and Merchant Sense all of them offering fraud screening services to the merchant community, specifically e-merchants who deal with card not present purchases. Consumers have other options also, including identity theft software.