The rise of card-not-present (CNP) fraud has come to a sudden halt thanks partly to measures taken by online retailers.
According to Financial Fraud Action UK – which recently replaced the Apacs brand – total UK card fraud losses fell 23 per cent year on year to £232.8m in the first half of 2009.
More significantly, losses from CNP fraud – which has risen steeply over the last few years to account for more than half of the total – fell back 18 per cent to £134m.
Encompassing phone, internet and mail order fraud, CNP fraud has been a major bugbear for the e-tail channel in recent years.
Financial Fraud Action UK, which published the figures in conjunction with the UK Cards Association and the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said the fall was due to a combination of factors.
This includes the success of sophisticated fraud-screening detection tools by retailers and banks and the growth of the MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa schemes by retailers and cardholders.
Online banking fraud went the other way, however, with losses rising 55 per cent year on year to £39m. This is largely due to criminals using more sophisticated methods to target end users through malware scams.
Likewise, the number of phishing incidents between January and June rose 26 per cent on an annual comparison.
Katy Worobec, head of fraud control, said: “These latest fraud figures are good news but we know there’s no room for complacency. While 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 and, of course, there are emerging areas such as online banking fraud which has risen again.”
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