Feeds

Foreign losses jack UK plastic fraud up to £535.2m

Negative cash flows

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Fraud abroad has pushed up losses on UK credit and debit cards following a two year fall, according to the latest stats from UK payments association APACS.

Card fraud losses last year rose 25 per cent from £427m in 2006 to reach a total of £535.2m last year, an increase mainly explained by a £90.5m rise in fraud overseas by criminals using stolen UK card details.

International fraud losses rose from £117.1m in 2006 to £207.6m in 2007. The majority of these losses came from countries yet to upgrade to chip and PIN. Fraud abroad now accounts for more than one third (39 per cent) of total card fraud losses. UK cash machine fraud almost halved from £62m in 2006 to £35m last year.

Card-not-present (CNP) fraud (a category that covers ecommerce and mail order transactions) also rose from £212.7m in 2006 to £290.5m in 2007, an increase of £77.8m (or 37 per cent). APACS said these figures ought to be viewed in the context of a huge rise in ecommerce spending. APACS vowed to further prioritise the fight against CNP fraud this year.

Cheque fraud losses in 2007 rose 10 per cent to £33.5m, after two years on the decline.

By contrast, online banking fraud losses fell a third to £22.6m, but card ID theft rose from £31.9m in 2006 to £34.1m in 2007. APACS said this fall is particularly impressive given that the volume of phishing incidents doubled last year. Advice on defending against phishing attacks can be found here.

APACS said Chip and PIN had a "hugely positive" effect on card fraud committed in the UK. Over the past three years (a period that covers the phased introduction of Chip and PIN), losses on face-to-face transactions on the UK high street fell by two-thirds from £218.8m in 2004, to £73m last year. Last year's figures also show that fraud on lost and stolen cards (£56.2m), and mail non-receipt fraud (£10.2m), are at their lowest levels for 10 years.

Counterfeit fraud losses have increased by 46 per cent, but the vast majority of this fraud is due to criminals stealing card details in the UK to make counterfeit magnetic stripe cards for use in countries yet to upgrade to chip and PIN, according to APACS. The UK banking industry hopes this type of fraud will become more difficult when the European banking industry meets its target to complete its chip card rollout by 2010.

"Although card fraud levels have now begun to go up again due to fraud abroad and card-not-present fraud losses, chip and PIN has proven to be an undoubted success in reducing card fraud on the UK high street. And, as more countries follow our lead and upgrade to chip and PIN, the opportunities for criminals to use our stolen magnetic stripe details overseas will decrease," said Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS.

Earlier this week a joint payment industry and police intelligence unit was established to fight all forms of banking fraud. The new Payments Industry and Police Joint Intelligence Unit (PIPJIU) aims to enhance the work of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU), the specialist police unit fully sponsored by the banking industry. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.