Crooks turn to traditional bank cons

Criminals are resorting to old-fashioned cheque and telephone scams as fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards reached a 10-year low, figures show today.

Card losses fell by 7 per cent year on year to reach £341 million in 2011, the lowest figure in a decade following a three-year reduction of nearly 45 per cent, Financial Fraud Action UK said.

Meanwhile, online banking fraud losses fell by 24 per cent to £35.4m in 2011, despite a surge in phishing attacks which rose by 80 per cent year on year to reach around 111,000 in 2011.

But telephone banking losses increased by around a third and cheque fraud losses saw a 17 per cent rise in 2011 as more cheques were simply stolen and altered, the figures show.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, head of the industry-sponsored dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit, said: “As technological advances have made our payments more secure, we’ve seen a spike in more simplistic crimes.


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“Many scams involve customers being conned into handing over their cards and pins or their telephone banking security details.

“The public is to be wary of any unsolicited phone calls or emails. Never hand over your card or bank security details.”