Card not present (CNP) fraud has soared in the UK and London is the number one hotspot, according to figures released by retail watchdog Early Warning.
According to the figures - which revealed CNP fraud shot up 22 per cent in the past year - central London postcodes saw the heaviest CNP activity, and are fast becoming known as the CNP fraud capital of Europe.
Trailing behind London in the CNP fraud top ten were Manchester, Coventry, Kilmarnock, Bristol, Brighton, Leicester, Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham.
Outside the top ten, two of the fastest growing towns for CNP activity were Northampton and Stockport. These were previously labelled 'amber' areas by Early Warning, but have been upgraded to 'red' in the last 12-months.
Andrew Goodwill, managing director of Early Warning, said: "We weren't surprised when we realised that London had come out on top of the fraudsters' league table again, with several postcode areas showing a very high incidence of fraudulent CNP purchases.
"But what is surprising is the fact that some postcode areas both inside and outside the Capital that last year recorded only negligible numbers of frauds are now reporting medium or high numbers. No single area of the UK is untouched by this problem."
Early Warning predicted fraud is set to grow at 'an exponential rate' in the years ahead.
Goodwill added: "This is largely because the advent of chip and pin makes it far more difficult for criminals to get away with using stolen credit cards in the shops, so they are turning to other methods, principally the internet. Online fraud is so easy - the fraudster can operate from anywhere he likes, even abroad."
The disreguard of the scale of the problem by the police and the lack of reporting this types of crime is only fuelling the situation, Goodwill said.
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