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Card fraud has dropped but there are some catches

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There was a 3% drop in card fraud in 2006, according to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs).

Criminals stole around £482m from banks, other lenders, retailers and individual cardholders, but there was a significant fall in fraud on lost and stolen cards.

To counterbalance this, however, there was more fraud using cloned cards and in ordering goods online, by phone or by mail order. Losses in these sectors went up 16% to £213m, a situation deemed “unacceptable” by many banks and retailers and accounting for almost half the total.

The introduction of chip and pin technology has helped stem the growth in card crime. Sandra Quinn of Apacs said: “Chip and pin has had a hugely positive effect on fraud losses over the counter in UK stores.”

In 2004, fraud on plastic cards soared to £500m after increasing steadily for a number of years. This has declined by 15% in recent years, with losses incurred on cards “lost in the post” falling by 62%.

However, despite the encouraging figures, Quinn noted the increase in ‘remote’ fraud, where the card is not physically seen by the vendor. “We are seeing more fraud on transactions that do not use chip and pin, like online deals.

“There are also issues with countries that have not yet upgraded to chip and pin technology.”

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