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Card fraud falls following chip-and-pin introduction

Credit and debit card fraud fell by three per cent during 2006, according to figures published today.Payments association Apacs revealed that overall fraud losses decreased to £428 million from £439.4 million in 2005.February 2006 saw the introduction of the chip-and-pin payment method in which card users verify their identity through the use of a personal identification number rather than a signature.Apacs director of communications Sandra Quinn said the new method has "had a hugely positive effect".Although observers have suggested that the 2006 fall was part of a longer-term trend, with fraud losses in 2004 totalling £504.8 million, fraud in retail face-to-face transactions fell by 47 per cent, to just £72.1 million.Furthermore, fraud involving payments where a card was not present increased by 16 per cent to £212.6 million.Counterfeit card fraud, involving either skimmed or cloned cards, rose by three per cent while card ID theft rose five per cent.Ms Quinn said that the fight against fraud was unlikely to succeed with "a single-layered approach"."It requires different sectors â€" including public and private â€" to work together on developing and implementing strategies, sharing best practice and, most importantly, sharing data," she explained."We need government intervention to remove the current barriers to this and we welcome improvements proposed in the fraud review and the serious crime bill."

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