Plastic card fraud soars

Businesses must remain extra vigilant

Businesses must be extra vigilant when receiving payments for goods and services as plastic card fraud levels have risen for the first time in three years.

The fraudulent use of UK credit and debit cards was up by a quarter over the last year with losses topping £535m, according to the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs).

Apacs said that the startling rise was mainly due to an increase in cases of cards used fraudulently abroad. Card fraud overseas rose by 77% last year and now represents 39% of the total fraud relating to UK credit and debit cards.

‘Cardholder not present’ fraud now accounts for more than half of all fraudulent card use, estimated at a cost of £291m.

However, the picture is not entirely bleak. Apacs says that despite overall card fraud in the UK rising by 6%, this is still considerably lower than a few years ago, prior to the introduction of chip and PIN technology.

The absence of this technology in some countries is the reason for the elevated levels of fraud abroad explains Apacs.

“Although card fraud levels have now begun to go up again due to fraud abroad and card-not-present fraud losses, chip-and-pin has proven to be an undoubted success in reducing card fraud on the UK high street,” said Sandra Quinn of Apacs.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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