October 20, 2011, 11:35 AM

U.K. credit card fraud could dip 40% this year

Credit card fraud fell 36% in the second quarter, says a new report.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Credit card fraud in the United Kingdom could decline by 40% in 2011, according to a recent analysis from Experian PLC, which sells fraud prevention and credit reporting and monitoring services.

Experian says that credit card fraud decreased 36% in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Experian’s findings are based in part on its review of the proportion of fraudulent credit card applications to genuine ones, and says that 12 of 100,000 applications were fraudulent in the second quarter. Experian also analyzed data from fraud-prevention systems managed by the company.

However, despite the dip in credit card fraud, identity fraud as a whole is actually rising, according to the report. Experian says that attempts by criminals to steal consumers’ identities in the United Kingdom doubled in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. In the second quarter, criminals seeking to steal identities accounted for eight of every 100,000 financial services applications in the United Kingdom, which was double the rate for the final quarter of 2010.

Part of the reason for the overall rise in identity fraud is criminals seeking an easy target. And, increasingly, they’re seeking checking accounts, also known as current accounts,  says Nick Mothershaw, director of identity and fraud for Experian UK and Ireland. “We are witnessing a surge in the number of detected identity frauds, with current accounts the number one target in the U.K.,” he says. “Criminals see the current account as an easier option, giving them a springboard for money laundering and from where they can also target more lucrative credit products such as mortgages, credit cards and loans.”

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