Big spike in card fraud in Europe

There was a notable spike in card fraud in Europe last year, with the UK the worst hit, according to new data from FICO.

The tech company revealed that the UK experienced an 18% rise in card fraud over a 12-month period, resulting in losses worth approximately $118 million.

The UK is clearly a big target for fraudsters, as the second worst-hit countries were both Greece and Denmark – these two nations ‘only’ experienced a 5% rise in losses.

FICO stated that the main reasons for the rapid rise in card fraud in the UK are data breaches and online transactions.

It said that this is indicative of “the growth in this channel, the ease of accessibility to funds and lower risk for criminals, and the theft of personal data through cybercrime”.

Commenting on the findings, Kendrick Sands, a senior financial industry analyst at Euromonitor International, stated: “The further projected increase in online payments over the forecast period suggests additional security measures will be required throughout Europe.

‘If greater security measures are not adopted to combat ‘card not present’ fraud, the broader advance of card payments over paper alternatives could be negatively impacted.”

On the plus side, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands and Portugal, all experienced a year over year decline in card fraud.

The latter, in particular, witnessed a sharp fall (-72%), which reflects the wider long-term trend of dwindling fraudulent activity in the country.

FICO said that this could be attributed to Portugal’s efforts to “fight against card fraud”.

To reduce the risk of fraud, WeLiveSecurity advises consumers to shred financial documents; be cautious when receiving allegedly legitimate banking emails; and to not share credit card information.