Online banking fraud losses fell by 67 per cent in the first six months of this year, new figures from APACS suggest.

According to the UK payments association’s latest figures, the total losses dropped from £22.4 million in the first six months of 2006 to £7.5 million in the same period this year.

This decline is attributed to the use of stronger fraud-prevention measures by online banks.

However, total card fraud losses jumped by more than a quarter in the first half of this year, driven by a 126 per cent rise in fraud on UK-issued cards being used abroad.

In contrast, card fraud in the UK continues to fall due to the successful introduction of chip and PIN, APACS said. The figures show that losses at retailers and cash machines dropped by 11 per cent and 57 per cent respectively during the same period.

“The fraudsters have changed tack,” said Sandra Quinn director of communications at APACs, in a statement. “A couple of years ago they were mainly stealing cards and details for use in UK shops and cash machines, but today, because of chip and PIN, they have been driven overseas.”