By Marcus Leach

Figures released on Wednesday have revealed that fraud losses on UK cards, cheques and online banking all fell in 2010, and are at a record low for over ten years.

The figures show that banking industry initiatives are successfully keeping fraudsters away from customers’ cards and bank details, as figures reach their lowest since 2000.

The all-time high came in 2008, when losses reached £610 million, whereas for 2010 losses were down to £365.4 million, which is a 17 per cent reduction when compared with losses from 2009.

This current downward trend is due to the banking industry’s ongoing investment to deter, detect and prosecute fraudsters. Initiatives include; better awareness amongst retailers about how to protect their chip and PIN equipment from criminal attack; greater sign-up to online fraud prevention initiatives such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa by cardholders and retailers; improved industry sharing of fraud data and intelligence; increasing use of fraud detection tools by banks and retailers; the increasing roll-out of chip and PIN abroad and the upgrade of chips on UK cards.

- Online banking fraud losses totalled £46.7 million in 2010 — a 22 per cent fall from 2009.

- Phone banking fraud losses totalled £12.7 million during 2010, an increase of five per cent from 2009.

- Cheque fraud losses decreased from £29.8 million in 2009 to £28.9 million during 2010.

“Whilst another drop in fraud is good news, the fraudsters haven’t shut up shop which is why there can be no room for complacency on the part of the banking industry, retailers, law enforcement or indeed customers themselves,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, Head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU) said.

“Fortunately in the UK - unlike some other countries - innocent victims of any type of payment fraud on their debit or credit card or account are protected and should not suffer any financial loss.”