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By | Paul Kunert 8th March 2012 09:29

Crims fall back on old-school cons to avoid anti-fraud tech

Cheque, telephone banking swindles soar

Crims are returning to more traditional cheque and telephone banking fraud techniques according to stats from the UK Card Association.

Total losses on credit and debit card scams fell seven per cent to £341m in 2011 - the lowest since the turn of the millennium - and online banking fraud was down 24 per cent to £35.4m despite an 80 per cent rise in phishing attacks.

But the threat shifted to telephone banking and cheque fraud, up 32 per cent and 24 per cent respectively to £16.7m and £34.3m.

"As technological advances have made our payments more secure, we've seen a spike in more simplistic crimes," said DCI Paul Barnard, head of Blighty's Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit.

"Many scams involve customers being conned into handing over their cards and PINs, or their telephone banking security details by someone calling, pretending to be their bank or police," he added.

The UK Card Association said cheques were invariably stolen and the payee name altered or counterfeits produced.

Once the scourge of the IT channel, particularly e-tailers, cardholder-not-present fraud dipped three per cent to £220.9m, the third consecutive yearly drop as initiatives from MasterCard and Visa helped to make life a little harder for the crims.

Nick Mothershaw, UK and Ireland director of identity fraud services at Experian, said financial services organisations need to "remain on top of the threat and invest in technology that stays a step ahead of the fraudsters". ®

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