Credit card fraud down 23pc

CREDIT Card fraud losses fell by 23 per cent to &pound;232.8m in the first half of 2009, compared with the same period last year.<br /><br />Although the latest statistics show that card fraud is dropping, online banking fraud did rise over the period by 55 per cent to &pound;39m.<br /><br />Cheque fraud losses were down 26 per cent to &pound;15.6m, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.<br /><br />The body said the mixed-bag results showed there was no room for complacency on fraud.<br /><br />&ldquo;Whilst industry online security initiatives such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode may be making their presence felt, the fraudsters are never going to shut up shop,&rdquo; said head of fraud control Katy Worobec. &ldquo;And, of course, there are emerging areas such as online banking fraud which has risen again.&rdquo;<br /><br />She said that much of the dip in card losses may be a result of fraudsters &ldquo;realising that they can prosper more&rdquo; by targeting foreign-issued cards.<br /><br />&ldquo;That includes particularly those without chip and PIN protection and which currently have stronger currencies than sterling,&rdquo; she added.<br /><br />She said she had noticed a 36 per cent increase in the amount of UK-based fraud being committed on foreign issued cards during the first half.<br /><br />The Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit &ndash; the police arm sponsored by the banking industry to stamp out card and cheque fraud across the UK &ndash; has helped to reduce card fraud, she said.<br /><br />In the first half firms have saved &pound;12.8m thanks to the fraud work, on top of the &pound;315m in fraud savings to the industry as a result of the unit&rsquo;s work since its launch back in 2002.