The UK's credit card fraud hotspots and the culprits' tactics have been revealed in a new report.
Research was carried out by 3rd Man, a provider of fraud screening services that detect fraud patterns by comparing transactions from different retailers, and 192.business.com, which aggregates databases against which ecommerce providers can run customer identity checks.
Users of the identity checking service say that for every fraud reported, eight attempted frauds go unreported – and are therefore ignored by the police and banks. The cost of card fraud in the UK is estimated to be more than half a billion pounds.
London tops the league of fraudulent card transactions, with southeast London being worst affected within the capital. Thamesmead (SE28) stands out for having the highest prevalence of the fraud. The statistics are based on postcodes.
Other places in the top 10 include Manchester, Coventry, Nottingham, Romford and Ilford.
The findings are based on an analysis of 30 million ‘good' and ‘bad' transactions between January and June this year.
As well as detailing the fraud hotspots, the report gives examples of where fraudsters tend to strike – such as chat rooms and in bars, where they gain the confidence of poorly paid bar staff. Often they start by stealing small amounts before going for larger spoils. And some even take delivery of goods they have ordered fraudulently, with one culprit admitting how he parks outside the address in question and pretends to be a helpful neighbour when the package arrives, saying the method has “never failed yet”.
Andrew Goodwill, fraud expert and director of the 3rd Man Group, said: “The next major step forward is to ensure that people are found out and prosecuted. The fact is that card fraud, despite its enormous costs to business and the economy, is not taken as seriously as it should be.
“We fully support the recent call by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee for a change in the way card crime is reported. If you've been the victim of a card crime you should report it to the police as well as informing your bank. It simply isn't in the bank's interest to report criminal activity to the police.”
The full report can be downloaded from www.192business.com/mo