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Card fraud costs industry £4.2m

Credit card fraud cost the motor industry £4.2m over the past 12 months, according to a new report published by the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS).

Payment experts are warning that the card-not-present fraud – where transactions are carried out over the phone or online without requiring a signature – will remain a growing target for card criminals unless businesses take serious action to protect themselves. Total fraud on card-not-present purchases has increased by 33 per cent over the last two years to £109.6m and according to statistics is now the second largest element of fraud related to UK-issued debit and credit cards.

Payments where the owner is not present to sign are most vulnerable to fraud, says APACS, with most people not aware that credit card receipts contain card details, names and home addresses – all the information needed by a fraudster.

“The motor trade loses a great deal of money to card-not-present fraud every year – and as new initiatives improve security on other card transactions, criminals may focus further on this type of fraud,” says Sandra Quinn of APACS.

“Businesses should be wary of customers wanting to give you someone else's card number, claiming to be acting on behalf of a client or relative. Watch out for those who only give a mobile number as their contact point. Only accept one card for each transaction.”

A survey of 2000 people showed that 17 per cent did not worry if someone took their card out of their sight while they were shopping.

Both cardholders and retailers fall prey to a £300,000 a day fraud problem because they ignore basic security lessons. APACS has launched a range of materials to help retailers understand and protect themselves against fraud.

Its information leaflet gives simple steps that retailers can take to improve security, and a training pack is available to help protect against fraudulent transactions. The association is also promoting industry verification systems such as the Address Verification System (AVS) and Card Security Code (CSC) which have helped some retailers cut card-not-present fraud and chargebacks by 80 per cent.

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