Irish credit and debit cards hit for €22m in fraud last year

According to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, losses on 260,000 different transactions were recorded here last year

A woman using her credit card to shop online.

A woman using her credit card to shop online.

 

Criminals made in excess of €22m through more than quarter of a million fraudulent credit and debit card transactions in Ireland last year, new figures show.

According to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) losses on 260,000 different transactions amounted to €22.1 million. However despite the scale of the losses, the umbrella group said progress was being made in the fight against card fraud.

The BPFI noted that losses were down 49 per cent when compared to 2016 with the decrease in fraud even more marked when set against a 28 per cent increase in credit and debit card usage over the same three-year period.

More than 90 per cent of card fraud took place online, via telephone or mail order rather than in-store. And ahead of one of the busiest weekends for online shopping with Black Friday and Cyver Monday just days away, consumers are being urged to be extra cautious.

BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said the decline in card fraud could 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”.

More effort was required on all sides “to continue to drive these figures down” and he pointed out that it was “particularly pertinent” as more consumers are shopping online due to Covid-19 restrictions, he said.

Mr Hayes said that new research shows younger people’s online shopping behaviour puts them at most risk.

All told 59 per cent of people said they would do more of their Christmas shopping online this year, according to new research carried out by BPFI’s fraud awareness initiative, FraudSMART.

While many shoppers are taking the right steps to protect themselves, many others are opening themselves up to being defrauded, with younger people aged 18 to 24 engaging in online shopping behaviour that puts them at most risk.

Some 39 per cent said they sometimes or always click on links from social media adverts rather than visiting the relevant website independently. The number jumped to 59 per cent among those aged 18-24.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent said they rarely or never check the security of the website they are shopping with while 43 per cent said they rarely or never read an online retailer’s terms and conditions.

The research also found that 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 while men are much more likely to send their card details by email, use public WIFI when making payments, and to purchase from unfamiliar websites.