Mixed news on financial fraud

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

New figures have revealed a comparison between fraud figures in the first half of 2011 and the same period in 2010. While card fraud loss is at its lowest in eleven years and online banking fraud loss fell too, cheque and phone banking fraud losses actually increased.

Figures gathered in the period January to June this year reveal that card losses due to fraud fell by 9% (£169.8 million) compared to the first half of 2010. This result has been very much welcomed by banks and customers because it is the lowest for eleven years and also the third consecutive decrease.

Online banking fraud losses also decreased by 32% (£16.9 million) compared to the same period in 2010.

However, other banking services didn’t have the same luck. Cheque fraud losses increased by 17% in that same 2011 period, rising from £14.0 million in the first half of 2010 to £16.4 million. Telephone banking fraud losses rose by 48% (8.6 million) during January to June 2011.

Protection from fraud

The roll-out of updated chip cards and the increasing roll-out of Chip and PIN technology abroad were some of the key systems that helped to avoid fraud on credit cards and prepaid cards. These high-tech initiatives meant that criminals had to go back to old fashioned techniques such as distracting people in shops or at cash machines and then stealing their cards.

Regarding phone banking fraud – the fraud format that increased the most - thieves pretended to be working for banks or police representatives to dupe victims into giving their financial security or bank account details.

“Your bank or the police will never cold call you or email you and ask you for your login details, cards or PINs. If anyone does, they are probably a criminal, so hang up the phone or delete the email,” said DCI Paul Barnard, Head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU).

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