New figures from The UK Cards Association (UKCA) show total fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards falling by 28% between 2008 and 2009 (to £440.3 million) marking the first annual decline since 2006.
According to the Association, industry initiatives such as chip and PIN; the increasing use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers; and the work of the DCPCU (a special police unit sponsored by the banks) have all contributed to the fall.
However, online banking losses totalled £59.7 million last year, a 14% rise on the 2008 figure, as criminals used more sophisticated methods to target online banking customers through malware, which attacks customers’ PCs, rather than the banks’ own systems.
There were also over 51,000 phishing incidents recorded in 2009, representing a 16% increase on the volume seen in 2008.
Phone banking fraud losses were collated for the first time in 2009 and totalled £12.1 million.
Most losses involved customers being duped into disclosing security details through cold calling or fake emails.
Cheque fraud losses decreased from £41.9 million in 2008 to £29.8 million in 2009, with the continuing decline in cheque usage playing its part.
UKCA chairperson, Melanie Johnson, comments: “A fall in card fraud is good news for everyone … we recognise that cards will always be targeted by criminals, so we are determined not only to continue to prevent, detect and deter those who are behind this type of crime, but also to make sure that innocent victims don’t lose out.”
Chairman of the Fraud Control Steering Group, David Cooper, adds: “Although online banking fraud losses have shown a year-on-year increase, card fraud remains a main focus of criminal activity.”