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Card fraud falls but CNP remains constant battle for etailers

Microscope contributor

Losses from credit card fraud have fallen for the first time in three years as the myriad industry initiatives closed the net on those perpetrating the crimes


However e-tailers in the UK continue to work hard to safeguard themselves against a rise in attempted cardholder-not-present (CNP) scams.


Financial Fraud Action UK said plastic card losses in 2009 fell 28% year-on-year to £440.3m including a 19% drop in CNP fraud - a continued fall - to £266.4m.


There were also 52% and 20% respective dips in counterfeit cards and Card ID theft.


A fall in card fraud was "good news for everyone - UK consumers, retailers and the industry," said Melanie Johnson, chair of The UK Cards Association, which represents credit and debit card industry.


There was no one solution to the card crimes she claimed but chip & PIN, the use of fraud detection tools such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, as well as the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit played a part.


The UK retail channel has been at the sharp end in the fight against CNP, which has risen through the ranks to become most prevalent form of fraud in the last seven years.


Nick Glynne, managing director at Buy It Direct, said CNP fraud losses were down 15% but attempted frauds and the cost of handling them were up 20%.


"We are fighting against record levels of attempted fraud but our verification process is getting more sophisticated," he said.


Curbing fraud was an "on-going battle" said Armando Sanchez, managing director at eBuyer, but he claimed it checked up to £1m worth of orders a day and lost only around £2,000 a month to fraud.


"We have overcome this problem through hard work but if you are not careful you can stop a lot of good customers [from ordering], so it's a balancing act," he added.


Online banking fraud was the only type to rise, up 14% to £59.7m as criminals targeted individual users; more than 51,000 phishing incidents were recorded in the year, up 16% on 2008.


David Cooper, chairman of the Fraud Control Steering Group said: "Although online banking fraud losses have shown a year-on-year increase, card fraud remains a main focus of criminal activity.


"However, the industry remains committed to containing and reducing all areas of fraud. To this end, we will continue our partnership approach - working with law enforcement, retailers, consumer and the Home Office - to tackle fraud head-on".

 


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