BPFI recorded €22m in debit and credit card fraud in 2019

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Consumers warned to be extra vigilant during pre-Christmas rush

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24 November 2020 | 0

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest debit and credit card fraud losses, which amounted to €22.1 million in 2019 with 260,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions.

However, BPFI said progress is being made in the fight against card fraud, with losses down 49% when compared to 2016. This decrease is even more marked when set against a 28% increase in credit and debit card usage in the same three-year period.

More than 90% of card fraud took place online, via telephone or mail order, rather than in-store, said BPFI. Consumers are being urged to be extra cautious ahead of Black Friday and the pre-Christmas rush.

 

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“Card fraud losses have been on a downward trend over the last three years and in 2019 were at their lowest level since 2012,” said Brian Hayes, chief executive BPFI. “This comes at a time when there has been a significant increase in card usage. The fall in losses can be attributed to a combination of better detection and fraud monitoring systems which banks have put in place, but also to the fact that consumers are becoming more aware of the risks of card fraud and the ways in which they can protect themselves from falling victim.

“That being said however, with a total of almost 260,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions over the course of 2019 amounting to just over €22 million, efforts on all sides are required in order to continue to drive these figures down. This is particularly pertinent in the current climate when consumers are shopping online more than ever due to Covid-19 restrictions and when our figures are showing us that over 90% of card fraud takes place online or using telephone or mail order. As Covid-19 restrictions and the pre-Christmas rush draws thousands of shoppers online we are urging all consumers to take extra precautions when shopping online this year.”

Young people’s shopping behaviour puts them at risk

Six out of ten (59%) people say they will do more of their Christmas shopping online this year, according to research carried out by BPFI’s fraud awareness initiative, FraudSMART, which showed mixed results when it comes to consumer behaviour and shopping safely online. While many shoppers are taking the right steps to protect themselves, many more are opening themselves up to being defrauded, with younger people aged 18-24 engaging in online shopping behaviour which puts them most at risk.

BPFI research highlighted the increasingly positive steps being taken by consumers, but also behaviours that are leaving consumers more exposed as they shop online.

At risk behaviours:

  • 39% sometimes or always click on links from social media adverts rather than visiting the relevant website independently. This jumped to 59% among those aged 18-24
  • 35% rarely or never check the security of the website they are shopping (i.e. that it has a padlock symbol or the ‘https’ in the address to indicate the site is secure)
  • 43% rarely or never read an online retailer’s terms and conditions
  • Looking across the generations, those aged 18-24 are more likely than any other age group to provide their card information by email, shop from unfamiliar sites and use public Wi-Fi when making payments
  • While women are more much more likely than men to click on links from social media adverts and less likely to check for the padlock symbol, men are much more likely to send their card details by email, use public WIFI when making payments and to purchase from unfamiliar websites

Preventative measures being taken by consumers include:

  • 52% regularly check their statements and transactions for any fraud or suspicious activity
  • 75% would never send their bank card number, PIN or other card info by email
  • 78% of consumers say they rarely or never use public Wi-Fi when making payments online

Tips for shopping safely online

In the run up to what is traditionally the busiest shopping period of the year, FraudSMART has published its top tips for shopping safely online. These tips include:

  • Use secure websites. The website address should be ‘https’ before the purchase is made, indicating a secure connection
  • Use sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the website address
  • Do not under any circumstances use public Wi-Fi when making payments – switch to 3G/4G on your phone if necessary
  • Independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts
  • Be cautious about claiming outrageous offers – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
  • Stick to well-known websites or websites that you are familiar with or websites associated with high street retail outlets

For more information, visit: www.FraudSMART.ie

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