Credit card losses fall but cheque fraud is on the rise

In 2011 the number of card losses fell by over six percent to reach a figure of nearly £350 million.

In the last three years, the number of card losses has fallen by nearly 50 percent, according to figures released by Financial Fraud Action.

There is also good news in the online banking sector, as the amount of fraud seems to have reduced by nearly 25 percent in the last year. This reduction has been despite a dramatic increase in the number of phishing attacks being reported.

Unfortunately, it was not all good news and the amount of fraud being conducted through cheques and telephone banking has increased by nearly 20 percent in the same period. One of the main problems was that cheques are being stolen and altered.

Paul Barnard is the chief inspector for the dedicated plastic and cheque crime unit. He has stated, “The amount of technology we are seeing protecting people online with cards has meant that the number of simple crimes occurring has gone up.

“We are seeing people being defrauded in ways that are not very technical. For example, they are handing over credit card information to people who are simply phoning their homes and manipulating it out of them. We want to encourage the public to remain cautious to anyone phoning their home and asking for their bank details. This is something that their bank, nor the police, would ever do.”

The amount of fraud being conducted on cards that were simply stolen has also increased by around 10 percent. Additionally, the number of cards that are disappearing in the mail has increased significantly. Financial Fraud Action have said that the continuous update of chip and pin cards has made fraud on them much more challenging. There has also been an increased amount of intelligence sharing among enforcement bodies which has made catching fraudsters easier.

It is expected that people are using more anti-virus software than they have in the past and this is helping to protect them on their home PCs. Furthermore, banks are issuing more security equipment, such as hand held devices, so people can log into their internet banking.

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