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Cardiff tops UK plastic fraud list

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Cardiff has displaced London as the worst place in the UK for card fraud, according to a new survey of fraud hotspots.

More than a third (37 per cent) of residents of the Welsh capital have been victims of card fraud at least once since 2007, according to an annual update to a Card Fraud Index maintained by CPP, which sells fraud insurance services to consumers.

London remains a hotspot, with 35 per cent of adult cardholders having been victimised since 2007, followed by Norwich (30 per cent), Southampton (28 per cent) and Leeds (27 per cent).

Overall incidents of card fraud increased by more than six per cent over the last two years, equating to 2.75 million extra UK victims. Online fraud affected a third of those hit by credit card fraud, while the use of counterfeit cards at cash points or elsewhere accounted for 17 per cent of cases handled by CPP.

Almost half (43 per cent) of plastic fraud victims only discovered they had been defrauded after their bank got in touch. CPP reports that the average sum involved in frauds was £590, with one in six victims (16 per cent) reporting losses of over £1,000.

CPP's study also notes that cardholders were sometimes their own worst enemy, after taking actions that left them open to fraud. One in eight admitted to writing down their card details, one in ten let others take out money on their behalf from ATM machines, and 16 per cent let a shop assistant take their card out of sight.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said that card ID theft (where crooks hijack a victim's bank account, usually by changing the address details and then requesting a new card and PIN) makes up around half of its fraud cases. Consumers should regularly check their bank accounts to uncover incidents of fraud, she urged. ®

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