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Bank card fraud hits £610 million

Debit and credit card fraud up 14%

Credit card

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Card fraud losses totalled almost £610 million in 2008, an increase of 14% on the previous year.

According to APACS, the card payments association, card transactions not protected by chip and PIN, such as phone, internet or mail order purchases, accounted for by far the greatest proportion of losses, amounting to £328 million, 13% more than in 2007.

The second largest area of fraud centred on counterfeit fraud and cost £170 million in 2008, up 18% on the previous 12 months. Typical instances of counterfeit fraud include ‘skimming’ or ‘cloning’, where card details are secretly obtained using a device that swipes card information. This data is then copied onto a fake card, which is often used in countries that do not rely on chip and PIN protection, such as the USA and Canada.

ID fraud increases

Instances of card ID theft have also increased, costing £47 million in 2008, up 39% on 2007. The increase is blamed on fraudsters obtaining someone’s personal and account details, contacting their card provider and masquerading as the cardholder to change the billing address. They then ask for new cards and PIN reminders to be sent to this new address. 

Chip and PIN success

The success of chip and PIN accounts for the fall in fraud on lost or stolen cards, which has been consistently falling since 1991. The 4% fall to £54 million is credited to the difficulty crooks have with obtaining a victim’s PIN.

Consumers can learn more about how to avoid card fraud by visiting the Which? ID fraud advice guide.

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