Credit card fraud figures released by Barclaycard show that France tops the league of card fraud against UK holidaymakers, with the USA and Spain in second and third place.
Together, these three countries accounted for nearly 80% of all overseas spend on lost and stolen cards last year, according to Barclaycard's annual world fraud index. France accounted for 43%, USA for 22% and Spain a total value of 14%.
Although France tops the charts in terms of value, UK cardholders are most likely to fall victim to card fraud in Spain where there are more fraudulent transactions but for smaller amounts. Typically, a fraudster in France spends £279 on a stolen card, compared to only £25 in Spain. Switzerland, where the cost of living is relatively high, has the highest average spend on stolen UK cards at £375.
Ian Spencer, Barclaycard's head of fraud, says the index offers a mirror to popular UK holiday destinations. He urges all customers to alert Barclaycard to the fact they are going on holiday so that it will be able to monitor card usage for possible illegitimate purchases.