Credit card fraud falls in 2009 while banking fraud jumps by a quarter

Fraud figures on UK credit cards fell by nearly a quarter during the first half of the year.

A report by Financial Fraud Action UK found that the cost of credit and debit card fraud dropped by 23 per cent during the six months to the end of June, compared with the same period in 2008. Losses on card-not-present fraud fell for the first time ever.

The Press Association reported that the group attributed the reduction in card fraud to a raft of measures that have been introduced to crack down on the problem, including the introduction of Chip and Pin cards, as well as systems to make it harder to use stolen cards over the internet.

The report claimed that while card fraud was down, the cost of online banking fraud jumped by 55 per cent to a record £39 million, with more than 26,000 phishing incidents reported. It also claimed that fraud losses on foreign-issued cards used in the UK had jumped by 36 per cent during the first half of the year to £81.1 million.

Mel Morris, CEO of Prevx, said: “It's not surprising that online banking fraud is continuing to increase. Whilst banks have made significant investments to protect their own IT infrastructure from malware, 90 per cent of banking losses from cybercrime come as a result of the security weaknesses of customers' PCs.”

Morris further claimed that as banks have little or no information about the level of security customers have on their PCs, it is impossible to effectively assess and manage the risks of cybercrime.

“In order to reduce losses and better understand the risks of malware, banks can provide customers with access to technology that will lock down their online banking session, so that even if they are using an infected PC their banking details are not exposed,” said Morris.

“This could mark a significant step forward, as criminals move as fast as the security industry, so it is a constant game of cat and mouse to keep PCs secure. However, if online banking sessions are locked down and run in isolation, fraudsters won't be able to get their hands on lucrative account information by infecting PCs.”

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