Card fraud increases to £185m

| September 27, 2012
Card fraud increases to £185m

Debit and credit card fraud increased to £185m in the first six months of this year, an increase of 9 per cent from the same period last year, according to the UK Cards Association.

The use of chip and PIN technology has helped to cut the amount of fraud substantially from a peak of £304.2 million in the first half of 2008.

However, the UK Cards Association revealed that criminals are returning to old-fashioned con tricks to persuade people to reveal PIN numbers and to steal cards.

Organised gangs of criminals are calling victims and pretending to be from their bank.

The fraudster tells the person, often someone old or vulnerable, that their card needs replacing and asks them to key in their PIN number.

Often, they suggest that their victim should hang up and call the bank back, but they either give a false number or stay on the line.

When the victim has revealed their PIN, the criminals send a courier round to the house to collect the card.

Other old-school con tricks on the increase include distracting people in shops and at cash machines in order to physically steal their cards.

Detective Chief Inspector David Carter, of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, said: “Your bank or the police will never cold-call you or email you and ask you for your full login details, cards or Pins. If anyone does, hang up the phone or delete the email.”

There has also been a substantial increase in the number of phishing websites, causing online banking fraud losses to soar to £21.6 million in the six months to June.

This is an increase of 28 per cent from the 2011 half-year figure.

Cheque fraud losses increased by 9 per cent to £17.9 million in the first half, but telephone banking fraud fell by 21 per cent to £6.7 million.

In other credit card news, Barclaycard is planning to relaunch its Freedom rewards programme.

It is launching a new credit card which allows cardholders to collect points when they use the card in any of the 70 participating retail outlets, including Amazon, M&S and Odeon.

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