Reporting Credit Card Frauds

by : Andrew Regan

The recent scandal over the credit card details of TK Maxx customers being stolen in epic proportions has once again revived the age-old financial question - just how safe is your credit card? The advent of Chip and Pin in the UK in 2006 caused waves of warning last year when credit consumers feared for the safety of their pin numbers. However, a recent change in the system for reporting credit card, cheque and online banking fraud may help increase consumer confidence when it comes to your credit card privacy.

APACS, the UK trade association for payments and those institutions that deliver payment, reports that from Sunday, April 1 2007, credit card consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would have to change the way they report instances of credit card fraud. The previous method allowed victims of credit card fraud to report to both their bank or building society and to the police. However, the new rules place banks and financial institutions as the first point of contact for victims reporting these frauds, and now eliminate the need to inform the police as well.

These changes to the way that card, cheque and online banking fraud are being reported follows on from the introduction of the Fraud Act in 2006, and are the product of discussions between the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the financial sector. These new procedures aim to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in the recording of fraud.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, commented: "This change simply removes an additional level of reporting and will provide greater consistency for the reporting of fraud losses in the UK. APACS will provide the Home Office with the industry's fraud figures for cheque, plastic and online banking fraud losses - these losses will then be published as part of the government's annual crime figures."

Ms Quinn added: "The threat of fraud is, unfortunately, a part of our daily lives. Although card fraud losses have decreased for the past two years, the industry remains committed to a multi-layered approach to tackling card fraud."

Earlier this year, APACS released its full UK card fraud figures for 2006, which showed that total losses have fallen by 3% in the past year to ?428 million.

If you're looking for a new credit card, but you're unsure as to which banks and financial institutions offer the best protection against credit card fraud, you'll be able to seek help from a variety of online consumer comparison sites that will advise you on which credit card is best for your personal and financial needs.