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.”