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Card fraud losses reach 10-year low

Criminals are resorting to old-fashioned cheque and telephone scams as fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards reached a 10-year low, new figures show.

Card losses fell by 7% year on year to reach £341 million in 2011, the lowest figure in a decade following a three-year reduction of nearly 45%, Financial Fraud Action UK said.

Meanwhile, online banking fraud losses fell by 24% to £35.4 million in 2011, despite a surge in phishing attacks which rose by 80% year on year to reach around 111,000 in 2011.

But telephone banking losses increased by around a third and cheque fraud losses saw a 17% rise in 2011 as more cheques were simply stolen and altered, the figures show.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, head of the industry-sponsored dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit, said: "As technological advances have made our payments more secure, we've seen a spike in more simplistic crimes.

"Many scams involve customers being conned into handing over their cards and pins or their telephone banking security details by someone calling, pretending to be their bank or police.

"Our appeal to the public is to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails. Never hand over your card and pin or bank security details in full as neither your bank or the police will ever ask you for these."

Card identity theft losses dropped by 41% year on year while fraud from skimmed or cloned cards was down 24%. UK cash machine fraud dropped by 12%.

But fraud on lost or stolen credit and debit cards rose by 13% and fraud from cards going missing in the mail rose by a third (34%) year on year.

Financial Fraud Action UK said the continued upgrading of chip cards has played a major part in cutting fraud, as well as improved sharing of intelligence within the industry and with law enforcement bodies.


From Belfast Telegraph