UK cross-border debit card fraud alarmingly high

Cross-border debit card fraud on UK cards has risen significantly, with the United States performing the most fraudulent transactions on British cards, according to a new study.

Payment analytics software company FICO conducted research on cross-border debit card fraud, analysing 52 million UK debit cards between 2013 and 2014. Total fraud losses for the cards in the sample reached £156m.

The study found that fraudulent transactions on British debit cards has risen 25 per cent, with 47 per cent of those illegal transactions taking place in the United States. Cross-border fraud has become a huge problem for UK cardholders, with 31 per cent of all British card fraud cases taking place outside of the UK.

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‘‘Criminal organizations are taking the details of compromised UK-issued debit cards and using those fraudulently in the US. This can affect anyone with a UK card that has been compromised, not just those who travel to the US,’’ claimed Martin Warwick, FICO’s fraud chief, EMEA.

Fraudulent transactions that took place when the card was not present (CNP) is the most common of all fraud transactions (68 per cent), with cash machine fraud (12 per cent) being the second most common fraud site.

‘‘The alarming rise in cross-border fraud demands new technology, such as proximity location services that can identify whether the customer’s mobile is in the same place where the transaction is occurring,’’

‘‘The UK reduced cross-border card fraud from £230 million in 2008 down to £80 million in 2011. But cross-border fraud has nearly doubled since then, and it’s time to get it back under control,’’ continued Warwick.

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