Losses from UK card and online banking fraud both increased during the first half of the year as phishing attacks spiked and the criminal fraternity turned to old-school deception cons to trick people into handing over their cards and PINs.
According to The UK Cards Association, total fraud losses on UK cards reached £185.0 million between January and June 2012, a nine per cent increase over the same period last year.
With technology such as chip and PIN helping to keep fraud levels well below the peak of £304.2 million seen in H1 2008, criminals have turned their attention to more straightforward ways of getting hold of people's cards and PINs. This includes distracting people in shops or at cash machines and then stealing their cards without them noticing, as well as simply tricking them into handing over their cards and PINs on their own doorstep.
Similar trends can be seen on the Web, where online banking fraud losses totalled £21.6 million during January to June 2012 - a 28% increase on the 2011 half-year figure. This has been driven by a huge increase in the number of phishing Websites, says the UK Cards Association, as well as an uptick in deception scams. In the latter instance, online banking customers are being tricked into divulging their login details and passwords over the phone to someone they believe is from their bank but is actually a fraudster.
Cheque fraud losses are also on the rise, up nine per cent to £17.9 million in the first half, with the only bright spot coming from a 21% decrease in phone banking fraud to £6.7 million.