Apacs, the UK payments association, has today (16 August 2007) published a consumer advice guide - Protect your PIN - to remind cardholders of the need to keep their PIN safe and secure at all times.
Chip and PIN has made our cards much less likely to be used fraudulently in shops and stores in the UK. However, fraudsters continue to try and copy our cards' magnetic stripe details to create fake cards that can be used overseas, in countries that do not have chip and PIN. If the fraudster has also obtained the card's PIN they may be able to make fraudulent cash machine withdrawals in non-chip and PIN countries. Raising consumer awareness about the importance of keeping PINs safe and secure can play an important part in tackling this type of fraud.
Protect your PIN is an easy-to-read guide aimed to help improve consumer understanding of these issues and shows how to better protect cards from fraud. Available to download the two-page guide outlines useful facts, statistics and tips, plus advice on how to remember PINs and protect them whenever they are used.
Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, says: "Plastic cards remain a safe, secure and convenient way to pay; all that is required to minimise the chances of falling victim to card fraud is a little bit of common sense. 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."
Research from APACS reveals that not all cardholders are taking the appropriate steps to protect themselves fully from fraudsters. The 2006 Attitudes to Card Fraud survey shows that 20 per cent of cardholders 'rarely' or 'never' shield their PIN when entering it at a cash machine. Similarly, more than one in four people (27 per cent) admit to using the same PIN for all their cards.
Sandra Quinn continued: "Although our cards are much less likely to be used fraudulently in the UK because of chip and PIN, we need to make sure that we remain vigilant and keep card details safe and secure at all time."
Total card fraud losses in the UK have decreased in each of the past two years and losses on the high strreet have fallen 67 per cent since 2004. However, cardholders need to continue to take responsibility for keeping their PINs safe.
To support this consumer awareness guide, APACS is also planning the launch of a retailer advice guide to remind card-accepting businesses of some of the necessary security measures for protecting card terminals. This guide - Transactions with your chip and PIN terminal - is designed to help both business owners and card-accepting businesses minimise the chances of their customers falling victim to fraud.