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Plastic card fraud goes back up

Date: 3/12/2008 12:11:50 AM

There was a 25% rise in the fraudulent use of UK credit and debit cards last year, with losses amounting to £535m, according to the banking industry.
The Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) said the first rise in three years was mainly due to stolen and counterfeit cards used abroad.

Card fraud overseas rose by 77% last year to £208m, 39% of the total.

But losses also rose as cards were used dishonestly to buy more items over the phone, internet or by mail order.

It means that fraud where the credit or debit card was "not present" now amounts to more than half of all card losses, here and abroad, at £291m.


Taken together, all types of card fraud committed within the UK went up slightly, by 6% to £328m.

But that was still noticeably lower than a few years ago before the introduction of chipandpin technology.

The absence of this technology in some foreign countries has made the use of skimmed or cloned cards abroad relatively more attractive to criminals, said Apacs.

"Although card fraud levels have now begun to go up again due to fraud abroad and cardnotpresent fraud losses, chipandpin has proven to be an undoubted success in reducing card fraud on the UK high street," said Sandra Quinn of Apacs.

"And, as more countries follow our lead and upgrade to chipandpin, the opportunities for criminals to use our stolen magnetic stripe details overseas will decrease," she added.

Fraud abroad

Banks throughout Europe have agreed to bring in chipandpin cards by 2010.

They hope to emulate the success of the industry in the UK where fraud on lost or stolen cards, including those stolen in the post, has fallen to its lowest level for ten years.

Handinhand with this has gone a big drop in losses from fraudulent transactions in shops, stores and supermarkets which, although up very slightly last year, are still running at a third of the level seen in 2004.

Losses at cash machines are also down, falling by 44% in the past year to £35m.

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