As many as 17 million Britons could face a security headache this Christmas as bars and restaurants fail to put in place proper security measures.


A study conducted by CPP has revealed that card-not-present and counterfeit fraud could rise this month, as almost one in four bars and restaurants compromise their customers' card security.


The main reasons for customer concerns include staff taking credit and debit cards out of sight (71 per cent), cards being placed within access of colleagues (46 per cent) and even placing cards in view and potentially in easy reach of other customers (38 per cent).


As a result, 90 per cent of cardholders are calling for practices such as hospitality staff taking cards out of consumers' sight to process payments or running a tab to be made illegal. If this is not approved, 75 per cent of respondents would like establishments to sign up to a code of conduct that would ensure regulation and protection for consumers' card details.


Danny Harrison, card fraud expert at CPP, said: “It's at this time of year when we're out celebrating that it's natural to let our guard down. Cardholder-not-present and counterfeit fraud is a growing problem in the UK, costing £250 million in January to June – up 19 per cent from the same time last year, so customers really need to be careful with their cards and think twice before handing them over.


“Remember, it only takes seconds for fraudsters to clone or skim a card, or even to write down your card numbers. Often the first that a victim knows about fraud is when they look at their statement – not the kind of hangover that any of us want to start the New Year with.”