UK credit card fraud hits 10-year low

By UK CreditCards.com

All the credit card help and advice that consumers in the UK have received over the last few years may finally be paying dividends. According to new figures from the UK Cards Association, losses on UK credit card accounts affected by fraud have fallen to their lowest level in ten years.

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The Daily Telegraph reported that losses fell by 17 per cent in 2010, thanks to improved fraud prevention systems set up by the banking sector and increased awareness by British consumers. 

UK credit card security improving fraud prevention
Both banks and retailers have implemented advanced fraud protection systems in recent years, which are helping to reduce UK credit card fraud. Many of the best credit cards, including 0% credit cards, now come with either Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode protection, resulting in a fall in card misuse.

Instances of fraud where the credit card was not present -- for example when a card is used to purchase goods or services online -- fell by 15 per cent in the last year. The Daily Telegraph also reported that "counterfeit card fraud, where a card is cloned or skimmed, dropped by 41 per cent to £47.6 million."

Consumers urged to beware of ‘phishing' scams
Whilst UK credit card fraud as a whole fell, some areas of fraud are still increasing. The UK Cards Association figures found that ‘phishing' attacks -- where consumers are tricked into giving personal information regarding their credit cards -- were up by over a fifth in the last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard said that consumer awareness is key to preventing fraud. "By taking simple steps -- such as shielding our PIN with our free hand whenever we enter it, particularly at cash machines, being wary of unsolicited emails or calls and making sure that our computers have regularly updated antivirus software in place -- we can make life harder for the criminals," said Mr Barnard. 

See related: 3 easy ways to prevent credit card fraud; Fraud figures show need for credit card security

Published: 2 May 2011