Credit card fraud rises 20 per cent
Debit and credit card fraud rose by 20 per cent last year to more than 500 million.
17:35 08 March 2005
Debit and credit card fraud rose by 20 per cent last year to more than 500 million, according to new figures.
But the rise recorded by APACS, which represents the UK card industry, was attributed to fraudsters stepping up their activities before the introduction of chip and pin.
The new technology sees people pay for goods by typing a pin number into a console rather than signing their name to authorise a transaction.
This not only makes it harder for a criminal to steal a card - either from the post or a wallet - and use it themselves, but the switch away from magnetic strips and towards microchips makes cloning, copying or 'skimming' a card more difficult.
However, as banks and credit card companies shipped 100,000 cards a day to customers to prepare for the changeover, mail fraud leapt 62 per cent.
"As more of us use a pin the harder the criminal's life becomes. But clearly they are going to keep targeting cards," said Sandra Quinn, director of corporate communications at APACS.
"When the banking industry decided to introduce chip and pin in the UK our fraud forecasts showed that without it card fraud losses would top 800 million by 2005.
"So while we still have a battle on our hands, we are on track to see a significant reduction in this amount."
Along with mail-fraud, the number of businesses offering transactions by phone, fax, and over the internet grew. 'Card not present' fraud increased 24 per cent - approximately equal to the number of new places that such transactions could be carried out.
Cash machine fraud grew by 81 per cent in 2004, but chip and pin is set to reduce this as the number of shops where cards stolen in transit can be used without a pin will fall and the use of skimmed cards at cash machines will likewise decline, APACS said.