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E-commerce scams decline

11 October 2011 - 10:32 by Simon Crisp

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The number of cases of fraud relating to online shopping dropped in the first six months of the year, hitting the lowest levels for the past half-decade, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.

Dodgy payment card transactions cost UK consumers around £109 million prior to July 2011, which is eight per cent less than during the same period last year.

Back in 2007, the total cost of similar fraudulent activities was as high as £137 million and it actually rose by £26 million by 2008, so this year's figures represent a real victory for those attempting to achieve safe shopping online.

While the payment card exploitation in the UK was lower than ever, there is still an inordinate problem with UK cards being harnessed overseas, to leech money from legitimate accounts.

Experts are stating that the increase in safe shopping online is all thanks to improved security systems being utilised by payment card companies, which means it is much harder for fraudsters to dupe innocent consumers.

Police payment card crime expert, DCI Paul Barnard, explained that with all the new measures in place, it was not surprising to see a significant dip in card fraud in the UK this year.

Sadly the manipulation of data gleaned from lost or stolen payment cards was recorded as having increased by a fifth in 2011. The number of payment cards exploited after being taken from missing mail was also on the rise, increasing to 42 per cent.

Criminals are resorting to older techniques to take advantage of average consumers, according to DCI Barnard. He said that by using social engineering and deceptive manoeuvres, it has been possible for criminals to continue to siphon off cash from hard working Brits, which means people still need to be wary when using their cards.