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€1.5bn swiped from EU cards: Fraud mainly takes place in the US

Euro cops: We've got chip-and-PIN, but they don't...

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Most of the credit and debit card fraud in Europe can be pinpointed to criminal transactions in the US, a police report has said.

EU police service Europol said that the European Union had invested heavily in the 3-D secure protocol, offered by Visa as Verified by Visa and by MasterCard as Mastercard SecureCode, as well as on the transition to chip-and-PIN, but these security measures weren't being used worldwide.

Chip-and-PIN (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) has been key to getting rid of domestic card fraud, although organised crime gangs were still pulling in €1.5bn a year from ripping off Europeans, cops said.

Criminals are able to target chip-enabled cards when they're used in cash machines and payment machines in the US, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Russian Federation, Brazil and Mexico.

"The ultimate solution to this problem would be to implement the EMV standard on a global level, including making United States’ merchants compliant," Europol said in its report. "Specific discussions on that are currently ongoing, however it is difficult to predict if, and when, the final stage of compliance might be reached."

With the extra security of PIN numbers for physical transactions, most payment card thievery now happens online, Europol said. Around 60 per cent of fraud losses in 2011 happened in transactions where the card wasn't seen, such as online or over the phone payments.

Credit card and bank account information traded online is used to create cloned cards, which can then be used to buy goods online. ®

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