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Card fraud falls to ten-year low

Card fraud falls to ten-year low

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 09/03/2011
First Published: 09/03/2011

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Fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards have fallen to their lowest annual total since 2000, new figures have revealed.

The UK Cards Association claimed banking industry initiatives are successfully keeping the fraudsters away from customers' cards and bank accounts.

Losses relating to UK cards of £365.4 million over the year were 17% down compared with 2009.

Better awareness amongst retailers about how to protect their chip and pin equipment from criminal attack and greater sign-up to online fraud prevention initiatives such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa by cardholders and retailers were both credited with reducing card fraud.

An improvement in the sharing of fraud data and intelligence amongst the industry, an increasing use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers, and the increasing roll-out of chip and pin abroad were also said to have played a part.

The research also showed that online banking fraud losses fell by 22%, thanks to the combination of customers better protecting their own computers with up-to-date anti-virus software and banks' use of sophisticated fraud detection software.

However, fraud relating to phone banking increased by 5%, with most losses resulting from victims being tricked into disclosing their personal security details through cold calling or fake emails.

The association said this suggests that some customers are still not aware that their bank will never cold call or email them to ask for login details and passwords.

"Whilst another drop in fraud is good news, the fraudsters haven't shut up shop, which is why there can be no room for complacency on the part of the banking industry, retailers, law enforcement or indeed customers themselves," said detective chief inspector Paul Barnard, head of the dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit.

"By taking simple steps, such as shielding our pin with our free hand whenever we enter it, particularly at cash machines; being wary of unsolicited emails or calls; and making sure that our computers have regularly updated anti-virus software in place, we can make life harder for the criminals."

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