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Card fraud losses down 17%

Card fraud losses plummeted 17% in 2010 compared with a year earlier, to £365.4 million, down from an all-time high of £610 million in 2008.

New figures from the UK Cards Association suggest that banking industry initiatives, such as MasterCard SecureCode, improved sharing of fraud data and the increasing roll-out of chip and PIN abroad, are proving to be a success.

Online banking fraud losses totalled £46.7 million last year, a 22% fall on the 2009 figure, as consumers got up to speed with their anti-virus software and banks employed evermore sophisticated fraud detection solutions.

At the same time, cheque fraud losses decreased by over a million, to £28.9 million, as the vast majority of 2010′s attempted frauds were stopped before the cheque was paid.

However, phone banking fraud losses totalled £12.7 million, up 5% from 2009, with most losses involving customers being tricked into disclosing their personal security details through cold calling or fake emails.

Commenting on the figures, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU), says: “Whilst another drop in fraud is good news, the fraudsters haven’t shut up shop which is why there can be no room for complacency on the part of the banking industry, retailers, law enforcement or indeed customers themselves.”

UK Cards Association chair, Melanie Johnson, adds: “It is essential to us that customers feel safe and secure when they use their cards and we will continue to invest in a wide range of fraud prevention initiatives to keep it this way.”

The DCPCU is an industry-sponsored specialist police unit that tackles the organised criminal gangs behind fraud.

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