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Online fraud hits £500 million

Card fraud was more than £500 million in 2007 according to credit card fraud specialist The 3rd Man.

The 3rd Man said that actual card fraud was far higher than the official statistics given by APACS which estimated that card fraud had risen by 37% in 2007 to £290.5m.

It said that following the introduction of Chip and PIN, fraudsters' appetite for internet crime where the card holder is "not present" (this includes internet and mail order transactions) had rocketed. It added that this was hitting retailers hard because they are already struggling with the effect of the global credit crunch.

Paul Simms, chief executive of The 3rd Man, said: "Card not present fraud is a major problem which is not going away and clearly is getting worse as criminals increase their efforts to steal from retailers. We aren't just talking about petty thieves and opportunists here. This money also funds illegal drugs, organised crime and terrorism."

The 3rd Man said that responsible retailers were fighting back by using behavioural screening techniques and by sharing data through initiatives such as SuperSearch, which scan millions of live transactions for retailers each month.

Simms said that retailer's sharing date would save more than £100 million in 2008.

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