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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 00:05 GMT
Reduction in card fraud in 2006
Chip and Pin card reader
The drop in card fraud slowed down in 2006
There was a 3% drop in the amount of money lost to card fraud in 2006.

Fraudsters stole 428m from banks, other lenders, retailers and individuals using credit, debit and store cards.

The Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) says there was a big fall in fraud on lost or stolen cards.

However, there was more fraud using counterfeit cards and also using cards to buy goods over the internet, by mail order and by phone.

The widespread adoption of chip-and-pin technology since 2004 has changed the nature of card fraud, as well as reducing it overall.

Counterfeit cards: 100m - up 3%
Stolen or lost cards: 68m - down 23%
Cards not present: 213m - up 16%
Intercepted in mail: 15m - down 62%
ID theft: 32m - up 5%
Total: 428m - down 3%
Source: Apacs

"Chip and pin has had a hugely positive effect on fraud losses over the counter in UK shops and stores," said Sandra Quinn of Apacs.

But losses on phone, internet and mail-order sales - where the card cannot be checked physically, but fraudsters use the real card number - went up by 16% to 213m.

That means they now account for nearly half of all fraud on plastic.

Fraud abroad

In 2004, plastic card losses due to fraud shot up to reach just over 500m after rising steadily in previous years.

We are seeing more fraud on transactions that do not use chip and pin
Sandra Quinn, Apacs

But the amount being lost has fallen by 15% in the past two years.

Theft using stolen or lost cards dropped by 23% in 2006 and losses on cards intercepted in the post slumped by 62%.

As a result, there was a 47% fall in the amount of card fraud in shops and stores last year.

But losses on fake cards, that had been skimmed or cloned, rose by 3% to 100m.

According to Apacs, fraudsters are increasingly using stolen or faked cards abroad.

"We are seeing more fraud on transactions that do not use chip and pin - such as over the internet and phone, by mail order and abroad in countries that have not yet fully upgraded to chip and pin," said Sandra Quinn.

While fraud in the UK dropped by 13% in 2005, it went up abroad by 43% to 118m.

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