UK is 'card fraud capital of Europe'More than seven million Britons have been scammed

21 November 2006

 

A woman's hand swipes her credit card through a till.

The UK is the card fraud capital of Europe with over seven million Britons suffering from credit card scams.

The study from the European Security Transport Association (ESTA) found that nearly 20 per cent of the UK adult population has been targeted as part of a credit or debit card scam.

It says Britons are almost twice as likely to become a victim compared to seven other European countries polled as part of the survey.

In all, 11 per cent of Europeans taking part in the research said they had been hit by card fraud, translating to around 22 million people.

Cash payments

As a result of card fraud, a third of victims across Europe said they favoured cash as a payment method.

The report says that nearly a quarter of British consumers returned to cash as their preferred form of transaction after being hit by credit card fraud.

ESTA spokesman Mike Bowen said: ‘It is incredible how many people across Britain have fallen victim to card fraudsters and unsurprising that so many victims favour a return to cash.

‘Indeed, a separate study by the European Commission has found that almost a third of card fraud victims are never reimbursed for their loss by their card provider, despite claims to the contrary by banks.’

Electronic transactions

ESTA is calling for the retention of cash as a payment, ironically at a time when financial institutions across the continent are pushing for greater use of non-cash payments.

Mr Bowen said: ‘Consumers should have the freedom to choose how they pay and should not be dictated to by banks and regulators looking to increase revenues from electronic transactions.’