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Fraud losses on UK cards on the up

14 March 2014  |  7941 views  |  0 Credit card

Fraud losses on UK cards totalled £450.4 million in 2013, a 16% rise on the total in 2012 of £388.3 million.

The figure, provided by Financial fraud Action UK, is still down 26% since fraud was at its peak in 2008. At the same time, total spending on all debit and credit cards reached £532 billion in 2013, a rise of 6.1% on 2012, with 10.9 billion transactions made in the year.

Losses on remote card purchases (those made online, over the telephone or by mail order) increased by 22% to £301.1 million in 2013, from £246.0 million in 2012.

Online fraud against UK retailers totalled an estimated £105.5 million in 2013, a rise of just four percent on the previous year. However, there has been a substantial increase in fraud against online retailers based overseas, rising 48% to an estimated £57.8 million.

Enhanced card security features, such as Chip & PIN, as well as advanced real-time fraud screening techniques employed by banks and established Internet retailers, have forced criminals to change tactics, says FFA UK.

As well as tricking customers into handing over personal and financial details, for example over the telephone while posing as officers from the bank or the police (identified as key driver for a 14% rise in card ID theft to £36.7m from £32.2m), fraudsters are also increasingly using digital attacks, such as malware and data hacks, to compromise card details.

The rise in 'vishing' fraud and malware contributed to a three percent increase in online banking fraud, which ticked up to £40.9 million from £39.6 million in 2012. FFA UK says fraudsters are increasingly targeting business customers rather than personal accounts due to the prospect of a potentially higher return.

Detective chief inspector Perry Stokes, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, says: "Whether in the real world or online, these latest fraud figures show just how important it is for consumers and businesses to know how to protect themselves against fraud."

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