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UK tops European charts ... for carder fraud

One more reason to stop worrying and love the Brexit

The United Kingdom has copped the largest jump in credit card fraud of all European countries with an 18 per cent rise resulting in £88m ($114m, A$150m) of additional losses.

Blighty outpaced fraud growth in Greece and Denmark where fraud increased by five percent according to Euromonitor International data mapped out by big data company FICO.

Much of the additional losses in the UK are thanks to data breaches and fraudulent online transactions, rather than ATM skimming.

Some 75 per cent of the lost cash is due to card-not-present fraud, where CVC numbers on the back of cards are not required, of which more than half was conducted in online transactions.

That form of fraud has bottomed out in Portugal where authorities have it "fully under control".

All told the UK contributed to some 43 per cent of all card fraud losses across the 19 European countries studied.

Fraud increased in 10 of those countries with Greece, Denmark, France and Russia trailing the UK with small rises in card theft.

FICO fraud consultant Martin Warwick says consumer pressures for seamless online payments frustrate security efforts.

“Banks want to avoid intervening unnecessarily when customers are shopping on the internet," Warwick says.

"E-commerce spending in the UK has nearly quadrupled since 2007, so you see why this is such a target for criminals.”

Fraudsters have always moved to the easiest pickings. In Europe this has driven fraud away from point of sales terminals thanks to deployment of chip-and-PIN, to online card-not-present transactions.

They flocked to Russia to get a piece of its rapid adoption of online payments between 2010 and 2015 which amounted to a 500 percent increase in "total card payment value", according to Euromonitor.

Fraud went up some 130 per cent over that time.

America's reliance on magnetic stripe data has left it a ripe harvest for fraud. Slow chip-and-PIN deployments will help stem the flow in coming years.

Australia by contrast is one of the world's toughest places to commit fraud thanks to its widespread adoption of the most modern and secure payment methods available such as Android and Apple Pay and contactless card payments. ®

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