If you’ve ever thought twice about capitalising on the benefits of online shopping and voucher codes because you fear falling victim of card fraud – then it may be time to re-evaluate that stance, as new fraud figures have been released.
According to the UK Cards Association, the amount of money that was lost on debit and credit cards fell by seven per cent compared to 2011 – and at £341million it stands at its lowest level for 11 years. Of particular note, there was a 41 per cent fall in fraudsters impersonating people to either obtain or use credit cards; and there was a 24 per cent drop in the amount of fraud from cards that have been faked.
Fraud keeps falling
The drop in fraud during 2011 actually represents the third year in a row that fraud has fallen since peaking in 2008. Now card fraud is at its lowest level since 2000 when £317million was lost through fraudulent activity.
At the heart of the success has been an improvement in anti-fraud measures such as online card verification software – including MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. There has been increased use of chip-and-pin technology abroad and it is also believed that customers are taking a more active approach to protecting details.
Even though chip-and-pin technology has helped rein in fraud in the UK and Ireland, there was previously an increase in fraudulent use of cards abroad. However, now this has been affected positively too – with fraud abroad dropping by 15 per cent last year to £80million. This was its lowest level in 12 years and meant that the amount of foreign card fraud has actually slipped by nearly two thirds compared to its peak – which was reached in 2008 at a whopping £230million.
There are still some areas of concern, however. The most common fraudulent losses last year involving cards came from improperly ordering items over the phone, by post and on the internet – what is known as “card not present” fraud. This accounted for £221million in card fraud losses; ahead of lost or stolen cards at £50million; counterfeit cards at £36million; card ID theft at £23million; and cards stolen in the post at £11million.
Tips to boost card confidence
Of course there are plenty of measures you can take to boost your confidence in using credit and debit cards. For example, make sure you shield the entry of a PIN at a cash machine; regularly update your computer’s anti-virus software; and watch out for unsolicited emails and telephone calls that ask for your details. Also remember that credit cards are more secure than debit cards for online shopping because of Section 75 protection.