Feeds

Fraud abroad drives up card losses

As phishermen pull in a meagre haul

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A doubling of overseas card fraud is pushing up industry losses even as domestic fraud decreases.

Total credit card fraud losses increased by 26 per cent in the six months to June 2007 to £263.6m compared with £209m in the first half of 2006, according to figures from UK banking industry association APACS.

The increase was driven by a 126 per cent rise in fraud on UK-issued cards being used overseas. Losses in this area rose from £48.1m in the first half of 2006 to £108.8m in the first half of 2007.

By contrast, domestic card fraud continues to fall, with losses at UK retailers down 11 per cent to £37.5m and losses at UK cash machines down 57 per cent to £17.1m. APACS attributes the progress at home to the introduction of Chip and PIN.

APACS said fraudsters are being driven overseas, copying mag stripes to create counterfeit cards that they use in countries that have yet to upgrade to Chip and PIN.

Online, phone and mail order (CNP) fraud has been consolidating its position as the biggest single cause of fraudulent losses both at home and overseas. Losses in this area reached £137m in 1H07, up from £95.3m per cent in the same period last year. APACS said these figures need to be viewed in the context of increased online spending. The fraud-to-turnover ratio on online card transactions has steadily decreased since 2004, APACS argues.

Counterfeit card losses, the second biggest category of loss, grew from £52.8m to £72.3m over the same period. Lost and stolen card losses fell from £36.1m to £30.7m. Meanwhile "card ID theft" increased from £15m to £18.7m over the last year.

Online banking fraud losses fell from £22.4m in the first half of 2006 to £7.5m in the first half of 2007. Anti-phishing measures by banks, coupled with an unusually high level of online banking fraud in the first few months of 2006, explain the decline according to APACS.

"These figures show how the fraudsters have changed tack," said Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS. "A couple of years ago they were mainly stealing cards and card details for use in UK shops and cash machines, but today, because of chip and PIN, they have been driven overseas - using fake magnetic strip cards specifically in countries which have yet to upgrade to chip and PIN. During the interim we will continue to use fraud intelligence systems to tackle overseas losses and encourage those countries that are lagging behind on chip and PIN to follow our lead."

Cardholders also need to play their part in helping to prevent fraud. Last month APACS published a consumer advice guide, Protect Your PIN, in order to remind cardholders of the need to keep their PIN and card details safe and secure. There's plenty more top tips along these lines at the banking industry’s fraud prevention website, cardwatch.org.uk. Material on the site is aimed at consumers and retailers alike. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.