Fraud on debit and credit cards fell by more than a quarter in 2009 to £440.3M
The combined force of industry initiatives such as: chip and PIN; the increasing use of sophisticated fraud detection tools by banks and retailers; and the work of the DCPCU , the banking-sponsored special police unit, have all helped contribute to this fall. It is the first time that card fraud has decreased since 2006.
Online banking losses totalled £59.7 million in 2009 – a 14 per cent rise on the 2008 figure. This increase is largely due to criminals using more sophisticated methods to target online banking customers through malware, which targets vulnerabilities in customers’ PCs, rather than the banks’ own systems which are more difficult to attack. There were also more than 51,000 phishing incidents recorded during 2009 – a 16 per cent increase on the amount seen in 2008. Unfortunately some customers are still falling victim to these scams.
Phone banking fraud losses were collated for the first time in 2009 and totalled £12.1 million. Most losses involve customers being duped into disclosing security details - through cold calling or fake emails - which the criminal then uses to commit fraud.
Cheque fraud losses decreased from £41.9 million in 2008 to £29.8 million in 2009. The overwhelming majority of attempted cheque frauds get stopped before the cheque is paid. The industry’s ongoing work to prevent cheque fraud - particularly through its use of fraud prevention profiling - has played a key part in driving these losses down. The continuing decline in cheque usage has also played a part in the 29 per cent fall in overall cheque fraud losses. Fraud on guaranteed cheques fell to £0.7 million last year. The UK Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme is closing on 30 June 2011, meaning that it will no longer be possible to guarantee a cheque under the Scheme after this date.
Unlike many other countries in the world, in the UK innocent victims of any type of payment fraud on their debit or credit card or account are protected and should not suffer any financial loss.
Melanie Johnson, Chair of The UK Cards Association, which represents UK credit and debit card providers said:
"The cards industry sees fighting fraud as a key part of keeping its customers' interests centre-stage. We are committed to a wide range of measures to ensure customers feel confident, safe and secure when they use their credit and debit cards - whether in a shop, abroad, online, at a cash machine or anywhere else.
"And a fall in card fraud is good news for everyone - UK consumers, retailers and the industry. We recognise that cards will always be targeted by criminals, so we are determined not only to continue to prevent, detect and deter those who are behind this type of crime, but also to make sure that innocent victims don't lose out."
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