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Card fraud up by a quarter

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Card fraud figures released by APACS, the UK payments association, show that total card fraud losses rose by 25% in 2007 to £535.2m.

A key driver behind this is the 77% increase in fraud committed overseas by criminals using stolen UK card details – which typically occurs in those countries yet to upgrade to chip and PIN. Fraud abroad now accounts for 39% of total card fraud losses.

Chip and PIN continues to have a hugely positive effect on card fraud committed in the UK. Over the past three years losses on face-to-face transactions on the UK high street have fallen by two-thirds from £218.8m in 2004, to £73m last year. Thanks to chip and PIN the 2007 figures also show that fraud on lost and stolen cards (£56.2m), and mail non-receipt fraud (£10.2m), are at their lowest levels for 10 years.

Counterfeit fraud losses have increased by 46% but the vast majority of this fraud is due to criminals stealing card details in the UK to make counterfeit magnetic stripe cards for use in countries yet to upgrade to chip and PIN. The UK banking industry continues to encourage other countries around the world to upgrade to chip and PIN.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, said: “Although card fraud levels have now begun to go up again due to fraud abroad and card-not-present fraud losses, chip and PIN has proven to be an undoubted success in reducing card fraud on the UK high street. And, as more countries follow our lead and upgrade to chip and PIN, the opportunities for criminals to use our stolen magnetic stripe details overseas will decrease.

“The banking industry continues to work with law enforcement, the retail sector, the Home Office and organisations such as the charity Crimestoppers to identify ways of actively protecting against all types of banking fraud. This reflects the multi-layered approach needed – an approach that has recently seen the creation of the Payments Industry and Police Joint Intelligence Unit – a vital addition to the UK’s fraud-fighting arsenal.”


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