UK banking losses due to fraud in the first half of 2008 hit £301.7m compared to £263.6m in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from UK banking association APACS.
Fraud abroad made up 40 per cent of total card fraud losses reaching £121.2m in the period, up 11 per cent of the £108.8m lost last year. That loss was through tactics such as the use of counterfeit plastic cards with stolen PINs on machines overseas that only check magnetic strips, not chips.
Once the European banking industry meets its target on the roll-out of plastic cards and readers that rely on chip-based technology - due to be completed by 2010 - this type of fast-growing scam will be contained, APACS predicts.
Card-not-present fraud (a category that includes ecommerce fraud as well as phone and mail order scams) also rose 18 per cent to reach £161.9m for the first six months of 2008, according to APACS stats published on Wednesday. This type of fraud has trebled - up 207 per cent - since 2001 but over the same six month period ecommerce transactions increased 415 per cent; so these particular figures, although hardly encouraging, are not quite as bad as they might first appear.
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