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March 12, 2008

Overseas card fraud rises by 25%

by Gill Montia

Story link: Overseas card fraud rises by 25%

A steep rise in fraudulent activity overseas increased UK credit/debit card fraud by 25% in 2007, to £535 million.

According to the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs), the rise, which was the first in three years, was mainly attributable to stolen and counterfeit cards being used abroad.

During the year, overseas card fraud rose by 77%, to £208 million, or 39% of the total loss.

Losses also increased where cards were used fraudulently to make purchases by phone, Internet or mail order.

The combined total of fraudulent transactions on credit or debit card where the card holder was not present now accounts to over half of all card losses.

All types of card fraud rose by 6% in the UK, to £328 million, but the figures is still below levels recorded before the introduction of chip-and-pin technology.

Losses from fraudulent transactions in UK shops, stores and supermarkets increased slightly last year but are still only one-third of the level seen in 2004. Losses at cash machines fell 44%, to £35 million.

Sandra Quinn, spokeswoman for Apacs, says: “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.”

Banks throughout Europe have agreed to introduce chip-and-pin cards by 2010.


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