Contactless card fraud is rising

Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime run by the City of London Police, says that in 10 months last year there were 2,739 reports of contactless fraud, totalling almost £1.8 million — up from 1,440 cases worth £711,000 in the same period in 2017.

Thieves are taking advantage of the tap-and-go payment cards to make as many purchases as possible before the card is blocked or reported missing.

Average losses ran to between £90 and £625, but the largest single case resulted in a £400,000 loss, owing to multiple purchases.

Contactless is overtaking chip and PIN as the most popular way of paying for goods and service because of its convenience. According to recent figures from payment processing firm Worldpay, more card payments were made using contactless technology than chip and PIN in the UK over the 12 months from June 2017 to June 2018.

The UK’s contactless card programme was derided as ‘chaotic’ by consumer groups and MPs after it emerged that customers can still be subject to fraudulent transactions up to eight months after reporting lost or stolen cards.

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