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One in five fall victim to ATM fraud

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Research by CPP has identified the top 10 UK hotspots for card-related swindles and also shows the lengths fraudsters are going to in order to get their hands on customer’s details.

Fraud is now most common over the internet where almost two in five have fallen prey to fraudulent scams. Alarmingly, nearly one in five have also had their cards cloned from ATMs and chip and PIN machines, highlighting the importance of exercising vigilance with your cards and personal details at all times.

London has overtaken Birmingham as the worst city for credit and debit card fraud.  Other hotspots on the list include Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff which all made it into the top five. Plymouth, Cambridge and Belfast appeared in the top five last year but must have really cleaned up their act as they don’t even appear in the top 10 for 2008. The research also shows the hotspots for credit card theft where the capital once again ranked number one. Norwich came second, followed by Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds.
Although credit card fraudsters are relatively indiscriminate, the research shows credit card theft is particularly targeted at women and the elderly. This said, a certain amount of this vulnerability can be put down to our own complacency, as nearly two in five of us don’t realise we’ve been victimised until our bank statements come through. Banks informs over a third of us after the fraud has taken place, suggesting we should be paying more attention to our transactions.

Zoe Manton, head of card protection at CPP, said: “Card fraud is a serious concern that is still common despite preventative measures put in place to combat this including chip and PIN. Fraud levels increased by 26% in the first six months of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006, to reach £264m.

“Although we are regularly told to report our lost and stolen cards immediately, on average we are taking nearly 10 hours to tell our banks and card companies. The good news is that 57% of respondents said they now check their bank statements thoroughly to pick up on any suspicious activity. However, with more than one in five adults a victim of card fraud, the issue still needs urgent attention and consumers still need to do more to look after their financial affairs.”

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