Bank and credit card fraud rose by 20% last year to £505m, with part of the increase attributed to the introduction of new chip and pin cards.
Criminals have taken advantage of the high number of new chip and pin cards sent out, and fraud on cards stolen before the genuine cardholders received them increased 62% to £79.9m, according to figures released by the Association for Payment Cleaning Services (APACS).
The country’s card fraud hotspot is inner London, where losses stood at £108.9m, up 24% on 2003. Across the South East, which includes the Greater and Inner London areas, card fraud losses reached £206m in 2004, up by 26% compared to 2003.
Sandra Quinn, director of corporate communications at APACS commented: “When the banking industry decided to introduce chip and PIN in the UK our fraud forecasts showed that without it card fraud losses would top £800m by 2005. So while we still have a battle on our hands, we are on track to see a significant reduction in this amount.”