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UK plastic fraud losses fall for first time in 3 years

Online banking losses up though

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A rise in online banking fraud losses took some of the shine off the overall fall in debit and credit fraud in the UK last year.

Official figures from the UK Cards Association, which represents UK credit and debit card providers, published on Wednesday show that fraud on debit and credit cards fell by 28 per cent in 2009 to £440.3m in total, compared to £610m in 2008.

The decrease in overall card fraud - the first since 2006 - is credited to the effects of Chip and PIN on retail fraud, improved fraud detection tools and law enforcement efforts.

While other forms of fraud dropped online banking losses increased £59.7m in 2009, an increase of 14 per cent on losses of £52.5m during 2008. Increasingly sophisticated malware attacks targeting bank customers and a 19 per cent increase in phishing attacks in 2009 was blamed for the rise.

Advice to consumers on avoiding such attacks can be found here at banksafeonline.

By contrast, fraud abroad which fell by 47 per cent to £122.7m, a huge win credited to improved fraud detection systems that block or double check unusual spending activity. Counterfeit card fraud (skimming and cloning) losses also fell by over a half.

A complete breakdown of the figures can be found in a release by the UK Cards Association here. ®

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