Card fraud slows but 13 million are victims

An estimated 13 million Britons have now been the victim of card fraud despite a slowdown in the number of people affected by the crime during 2010.

Around 28 per cent of people said their credit or debit card had been used by fraudsters at some point, 7 per cent of whom had been victims of the crime during the past 12 months, according to life assistance company CPP.

But the number of people who were affected during 2010 was slightly down on the 10 per cent who were victims in 2009. One in five victims of card fraud said they had the magnetic strip on their card cloned at an ATM or chip and pin machine, with the same proportion saying fraudsters had obtained their card details through the internet.

But a third of people did not know how their card details had been compromised, with many not even realising they had been the victims of fraud until they were contacted by their bank or their card was refused.

The research also found that many people were putting themselves at risk of card fraud by failing to take simple measures to protect themselves, with 18 per cent saying they never checked an ATM to see if it had been tampered with, while 17 per cent said they did not shield their fingers when keying in their pin.

A further 16 per cent of consumers also said they had let their card out of their sight in shops and restaurants.

People also take an average of eight hours to report a lost or stolen card.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: "In 2010 we saw a 3 per cent decrease in card fraud incidents in the UK compared to the previous year.

"This in itself is good news and shows how progress is being made to reduce the number of victims. In particular, online fraud has decreased, which could be a result of industry initiatives such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode."