Belfast Telegraph

Fraud loss on credit and debit cards falls to 10-year low

Fraud losses on UK cards fell to their lowest level for a decade during 2010 as a raft of industry initiatives paid off.

Losses on credit and debit cards dropped by 17% during the year to £365.4m, the lowest level since 2000, according to industry body the UK Cards Association.

The group credited the decline in losses to the ongoing investment by the banking industry to prevent fraud, as well as increased awareness among consumers.

Initiatives include increased use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers, greater fraud data sharing, and the introduction of the chip and pin system abroad.

There is better awareness among retailers about how to protect payment equipment from criminal attack and increased take up of schemes to prevent online card fraud among consumers.

Within the total, counterfeit card fraud, where a card is cloned or skimmed, dived by 41% to £47.6m, while there was also a 15% drop in so-called card-not-present fraud, when a card is used to buy things by telephone, internet or post, and a 7% fall in fraud on lost or stolen cards.

Losses as a result of identity theft were broadly unchanged at £38.1m, and the only area to see an increase was fraud on cards that were intercepted in the mail, with losses rising by 22% to £8.4m.

There was also a 23% drop in losses on UK cards that had been fraudulently used abroad.

Money lost as a result of online banking fraud fell to £46.7m during the year, a 22% decline.