Card fraud losses drop to £341 million in 2011

While credit card fraud remains a problem in the UK, losses from fraudulent activities made on credit and debit cards fell in 2011 to £341 million, sources say.

While more than £340 million does seem like an eye watering figure, this represents a 7 per cent drop from 2010 card fraud losses.  Additionally, when taken in comparison with 2008 figures, where losses topped £610 million, 2011’s card fraud figures were down by 44 per cent.

The number of criminals attempting identity theft in order to steal or use their cards fell by 41 per cent from 2010, sources say, and the use of false cards to perpetrate fraud  has likewise declined by 24 per cent.  In fact, fraud levels were at their lowest levels in more than a decade, with 2000 figures indicating that card fraud cost £317 million.

A large proportion of the improvements have been attributed to adopting anti-fraud technologies such as card verification online and chip-and-pin tech being used more widely abroad.  In fact, fraud originating from overseas declined to £80 million in 2011, a drop of 15 per cent, and now sits at its lowest level for the past 12 years.

The largest problem last year turned out to be ‘card not present’ fraud, where cards are used illegally to purchase goods over the phone, by post, or online.  £221 million was lost through the efforts of fraudsters, representing almost two out of every three cases of card fraud in 2011.

The increase in technology that has resulted in payments becoming more secure has led to an increase in crimes that are more simplistic, experts say, with fraudsters relying on easy marks, conning their card numbers and PINs the old-fashioned way to circumvent technological advances.

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