Credit fraud amounting to £1.2bn a year in Europe

Europol, the EU police agency, stated that every year criminal gangs are able to make about £1.2bn from credit fraud. The statement was made at the same time that regret was expressed by the agency that better security features and overall compliance is still patchy throughout the nation.

In 2011 almost all of the fraud that pertained to EU cards took place outside of the EU borders as Chip and Pin security is not yet a global feature of credit cards. As a result, EU citizens often find themselves the victims of fraud that actually takes place overseas.

Outside of the US, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Russia, and Colombia all have extensive fraud networks operating according to Europol. The police agency stated that most credit card numbers that are misused within the EU are obtain via data breaches that occur in the United States. The most illegal face to face card transactions that occurred with cards that were issued in the EU also occurred in the US.

‘Card not present transactions’ which include any transaction in which personal data is stolen via the internet makes up about 60% of all credit card fraud according to Europol figures.

Europol explains this problem by stating that proper regulations for the reporting data breaches when they occur is not in place in many countries. The agency added that many criminals operate within the realm of very complex networks that are often international allowing them to exploit gaps between law enforcement teams.

They added that online crimes are often hard to prosecute since they occur in multiple countries with many different people involved. Data thefts online also lead to the selling of personal data which is also a hot commodity online making it even harder to get personal data back once its stolen.


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