Fall in card fraud

November 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Card fraud is at its lowest level in the past decade. According to the UK Cards Association, there was a 20% year-on-year drop in total fraud losses on debit and credit cards to £186.8 million during the first half of the year, suggesting that initiatives taken by the industry are starting to pay off.

Some initiatives by the industry to counter fraud include updated chip-and-pin cards, working with retailers to help them to protect the equipment and greater use of sophisticated fraud-detection systems by banks. There has also been wide adoption of online measures such as MasterCard SecureCode which make online purchases safer, as well as a greater number of people using antivirus software on their computers.

Overall, counterfeit fraud (whereby cards are cloned) saw the biggest fall of 39% to £28.2 million. In terms of other kinds of fraud:

  • identity theft losses fell down 37% to £15 million
  • lost or stolen card fraud was down 15%
  • card-not-present fraud (including buying over the internet, telephone, and mail order using other people’s cards) was down 12%
  • overseas fraud fell 23% to £51.5 million

The only type of card fraud not to fall in the six-month period was fraud involving cards getting lost in the mail, which saw a 9% rise to £3.8 million. Email phishing attacks also seem to be on the increase, with 31,000 reported cases during the period.

However, banks and building societies saw a total drop in fraud for the first time since 2007, reporting a 36% drop in losses to £24.9 million compared to the same period in 2009.

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