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ECB say bank card fraud on the rise

Tuesday, February 25 11:55:11

Bank card fraud rose for first time in four years in 2012, largely due to Internet fraud, data compiled by the European Central Bank showed today.

"Card fraud within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) increased in 2012 for the first time since 2008, driven mainly by higher internet fraud," the ECB wrote in a new report. "More efforts will be required to ensure the security of online card payments as Internet purchases continue to grow," it said.

According to the ECB data, 1.0 euro in every 2,635 euros spent on credit and debit cards issued within SEPA -- the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland - was lost to fraud.

That represents 0.038 percent of a total of 3.5 trillion euros in transactions, up from 0.036 percent in 2011, the ECB said.

The total value of fraud increased by 14.8 percent to 1.33 billion euros in 2012.

"These data show we must remain vigilant against card fraud, although it is also reassuring to see that counterfeit levels are lower inside SEPA than outside, thanks to higher security standards," said ECB vice president Vitor Constancio.

The report found that around 60 percent of the value of fraud resulted from so-called card-not-present (CNP) payments - payments made by post, telephone or the internet - while roughly 25 percent resulted from point-of-sale (POS) terminals and the rest from automated teller machines (ATMs).

The report also found that, on average, cards issued in France, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg experienced the highest losses from fraud as a proportion of regular transactions.