Apacs and petroleum industry in card fraud prevention initiative

Apacs and petroleum industry in card fraud prevention initiative

Payments association Apacs is teaming with the UK Petroleum Industry Association to launch a national card fraud prevention campaign. The move follows a spate of card cloning cases involving petrol stations across the country.

It emerged in April this year that UK banks had lost millions of pounds to an international card cloning gang operating out of petrol stations across the country. About 200 of the UK's 9500 petrol stations were thought to have been hit by the scam.

Furthermore last year fraudsters stole more than £1 million from customers by implanting skimming devices in retailer PIN pads at Shell petrol stations. In May 2006 tampered card readers were discovered at three Shell forecourts, forcing the oil company to temporarily suspended all chip and PIN payments at its network of outlets across the UK.

Apacs is now teaming with the petroleum industry to launch a week long card fraud prevention campaign. The initiative, which kicks off on 5 November, will see 14 million advice cards distributed to customers at petrol stations throughout the UK. The cards offer consumer tips on how to keep card and PIN details safe.

Commenting on the campaign, Chris Hunt, director general of the UK Petroleum Industry Association, says: "The fight against fraud is a shared responsibility. During this campaign they will be issuing advice cards to customers reminding them to keep their card details safe and secure at all times."

Apacs says its figures show that the introduction of chip and PIN has resulted in a 67% decrease in card fraud during the last three years. But fraudsters continue to try and copy magnetic stripe details to create fake cards that can be used overseas, in countries that do not have chip and PIN.

"Chip and PIN has been hugely successful in reducing card fraud in the UK but that does not mean that we can lower our guard. Tackling card fraud requires a multi-layered approach," says Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs. "Consumers can also play their part and we urge them to follow the advice provided on these cards. Simple measures such as shielding your PIN with your free hand whenever you enter it into a keypad will significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud."

Separate figures released by the European ATM Security Team (East) show that ATM fraud has been cut in European countries that have adopted chip and PIN technology.

Compared with the last six months of 2006, the value of domestic ATM fraud losses for card issuers is down by 55% due to chip and PIN technology. International losses have remained static.

East says criminals are now actively seeking out ATMs without chip card readers and are sending skimmed data to countries with ATM networks that are not yet fully EMV chip compliant. Out of an estimated European total of nearly 359,000 ATMs, 68% use EMV, up from 63% in 2006.

Cash machine fraud is still dominated by card skimming, with 2317 cases reported, compared to 167 incidents of "card trapping" and 53 cases involving other attacks, such "cash trapping". Losses due to card skimming decreased by 25% in value compared with the equivalent period last year, primarily due to the installation of anti-skimming devices at ATMs.

However direct physical attacks against ATMs have increased by 60%, says East, with 1810 attacks reported in the first six months of the year.

Attacks range from ram raids to vandalism, with robberies during cash replenishment showing the largest increase, says East. There has also been an increase in the use of explosives and gas. In total EUR15 million were lost through attacks on ATMs.

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