Card fraud dives to 10-year low

Fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards have plummeted to a ten-year low, according to the UK Cards Association, although crime fighters have warned that there is “no room for complacency”.
The total amount lost to fraud in 2010 was still £365.4m, but this was 17 per cent down on 2009, with the biggest drop seen in cloned or skimmed cards, which fell by 41 per cent.
Even so, the amount lost through cards being intercepted in the mail was up 22 per cent, although there was a 15 per cent drop in the amount lost when fraudsters used card details to buy items on the telephone, Internet or by mail order – signalling the effectiveness of schemes such as 3D Secure.
Identity theft losses were relatively unchanged and, despite a 21 per cent increase in the number of phishing attacks, the money lost to online banking fraud was down 22 per cent.
Total losses hit a peak at £610m in 2008, but have now fallen for two successive years.
Head of the Dedicated Cheque & Plastic Crime Unit, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, said: “While another drop in fraud is good news, the fraudsters have not shut up shop which is why there can be no room for complacency on the part of the banking industry, retailers, law enforcement or indeed customers themselves.
“By taking simple steps, such as shielding our Pin with our free hand whenever we enter it, particularly at cash machines, being wary of unsolicited emails or calls, and making sure that our computers have regularly updated anti-virus software in place, we can make life harder for the criminals.”

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