UK consumer rights group Which? has called on banks to take more responsibility for the escalating rates of card fraud by sending out unactivated replacement cards to customers and providing clearer security guidance.
Figures released by the UK's Association for Payment Clearing Services earlier this year showed that UK card fraud losses totalled £504.8m in 2004, up by 20% from the year before.
According to the Apacs figures, mail non-receipt fraud - which is committed on cards stolen before the genuine cardholders receive them - rose 62% to £72.9m Which? says this could be greatly reduced if all banks sent out unactivated replacement cards, which the customer has to activate by disclosing security details.
The group is also calling on financial firms to stop unsolicited sales calls to customers that ask for security details, particularly as banks advise people not to give such information to anyone who calls. Research carried out by Which? found that a fifth (21%) of UK consumers would give their account number to a caller claiming to be their bank or credit card company.
Malcolm Coles, editor, Which?, says banks are falling down on security: "They should be doing much more to cut this type of crime, rather than just passing the costs on to their customers."
A Which? survey of 1624 adults found that five per cent of credit card holders have been victims of fraud in the last year.
Which? says its research shows that six out of 10 adults are still putting themselves at risk from credit or debit card fraud. Along with the 21% who would give out security details over the phone, nearly a quarter of adults admitted that they used the same pin number for different cards.