Card fraud falls to 11-year low

| March 8, 2012
Card fraud falls to 11-year low

The amount of money lost due to credit and debit card fraud fell to £341m in 2011.

This was 7 per cent less than the amount lost in 2010 and 44 per cent lower than in 2008, when £610m was lost through card fraud.

Since 2010 the number of fraudsters impersonating people to use or steal their cards has fallen by 41 per cent, while fraud through the use of fake cards has fallen by 24 per cent.

In 2011, card fraud was at its lowest level since 2000 when £317 million was lost through this type of crime.

Much of the improvement is attributed to the adoption of anti-fraud technology, including online card verification software and the wider use of chip-and-pin technology overseas.

Overseas fraud fell by 15 per cent in 2011, to £80 million, its lowest level for 12 years.

‘Card not present’ fraud posed the biggest problem last year, with £221 million being lost.

This type of fraud, where cards are illegally used to order goods online, by post or over the phone, represented nearly two-thirds of all card fraud last year.

DCI Paul Barnard, head of the police cheque and plastic crime unit, said: “As technological advances have made our payments more secure, we’ve seen a spike in more simplistic crimes.

“Many scams involve customers being conned into handing over their cards and PINs, or their telephone banking security details by someone calling, pretending to be their bank or the police.”

In related news, the Bank of England has reported that 7 per cent of all outstanding 2011 credit card debt was written off as unrecoverable.

In its January Trends in Lending report, the bank said that average gross lending to individuals remained stable at £0.6 billion in the second and third quarters of 2011.

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