Credit cards Updated:
Credit card fraud in the first half of 2010 fell to its lowest level in a decade, with a number of initiatives contributing to the decline.
Losses caused by credit card fraud totalled £186.8 million during the first six months of 2010, a reduction of 20% compared with the period from January to June in 2009.
The UK Cards Association, which released the figures, said the ten year low was the result of a number of security initiatives.
They include the increasing roll-out of updated chip cards in the UK and the ongoing work with the retail community to raise awareness of the ways in which retailers can protect their chip and PIN equipment from criminal attack.
There has also been a greater sign-up to MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa by cardholders and retailers; increasing use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers; and the increasing roll-out of chip and PIN abroad.
Online banking fraud has also fallen dramatically. In the first six months of the year losses totalled £24.9 million – a 36% fall on the 2009 half-year figure.
Despite an increase in security software and an awareness of the importance of keeping details private, the industry said that losses over half year periods have been fairly volatile over the last five years, and that more work needs to be done in this area.
Phone banking fraud losses totalled £5.8 million during January to June 2010, an increase of 9%from January to June 2009.
Most losses involve customers being tricked into disclosing security details - through cold calling or fake emails - which the criminal then uses to commit fraud.
To help customers protect themselves the industry continues to highlight the fact that banks will never cold call or email customers and ask them for login details and passwords.
"These figures are testament to the importance that the UK's card companies place on driving down card fraud losses and reducing any inconvenience to customers," Melanie Johnson, Chair of The UK Cards Association, which represents UK credit and debit card issuers, said.
"We are determined to make sure that customers feel as safe and secure as possible when they use their cards. To that end the banking industry is committed to detecting and preventing card fraud in all its guises."
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