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Britain: The Card Fraud Capital of Europe

Sarah Small

Global Partner Marketing Manager

Sekura Mobile Intelligence Ltd

Credit card fraud is a growing problem that affects both consumers and businesses. According to UK Finance, credit card fraud in the UK accounted for more than 47% of all cases of fraud in Europe last year.

The data also shows that the proportion of card fraud cases involving personal details or impersonation was higher in the UK than anywhere else in Europe.

“The UK has the highest value of credit card fraud in Europe.”

Overall fraud losses in the UK rose by 10% last year, with fraudsters increasingly using scams to trick customers into sharing their personal details and passwords through scam phone calls, texts, emails and fake social media posts.

In particular, the UK saw higher losses on cards that are not present, a type of card fraud where the victim’s details aren’t present at the time of the transaction. British consumers lost £368m in 2018 – an increase from £348m in 2017 – according to Cifas’ latest Fraudscape report.

The UK also had one of the highest net increase levels for other types of identity fraud such as account takeovers or identity cloning – where criminals use victims’ personal information to open new accounts without their knowledge via mobile phone apps or over-the-phone sales channels.

“Fraudsters are constantly evolving their methods,” said Cifas chief executive Simon Dukes.” This means that organisations need to do all they can to protect their customers from ever-changing threats.”

The UK’s fraud prevention service Cifas said it received more than 55,000 reports of card fraud in June alone – an increase of 35% on the same month last year.

The organisation said it was also seeing an increasing number of cases where criminals had used false identities to contact people online or by phone and tried to trick them into giving away sensitive details such as credit card numbers or log-in information for online accounts.

It added that people should not trust unsolicited phone calls or emails about account activity which ask for personal details such as names and addresses – even if they appear to be from companies such as banks or utility providers.

The UK saw higher losses on cards that are not present, such as when shopping online or over the phone.

The UK’s fraud rate of 1.8% was nearly twice that of the EU average, which stood at 1%. This means that Britons lost £1 out of every £50 spent using a credit card in 2017 — an increase from previous years when it cost only £1 in every £60.

To make matters worse, Britons were also more likely to be victims of identity theft than people elsewhere in Europe: 2% compared with just 0.7%.

Why is card fraud most prevalent in the UK?

The UK has a reputation for being one of the most sophisticated markets in Europe, with many consumers using their cards for payments and purchases. However, this also makes it an attractive target for fraudsters who are constantly looking for ways to exploit our trust in banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions. The fact that more than half of all fraud cases take place in the UK means that consumers here should be on their guard whenever they are using these services so that they can avoid falling victim to these scams.

With coverage across 5 continents, Sekura Mobile Intelligence is the leading global provider of direct mobile operator identity data, providing trusted, secure and easy-to-consume solutions for ID verification, anti-fraud and secure online authentication use cases.

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