Banks confident of dealing a better hand of cards.


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Mary O'Hara and Sean Coughlan assess the struggle to combat escalating credit card fraud

Saturday November 15, 2003
The Guardian

Every minute £800 is stolen from credit cards in the UK by fraudsters using someone else's details to buy goods on the phone, online, or by mail order, according to the latest fraud figures.
What is known as "card not present" (CNP) is the fastest growing card-based fraud in the UK - up by 33% to £109m - and is the second largest overall method of fraud after counterfeit cards.
It is worrying the police and card issuers because it presents an increasingly unpredictable set of problems. And concerns are growing that it will shoot up even further as consumers increase their spending leading to Christmas.
A total of £411m was defrauded from unsuspecting cardholders in the 12 months to June 2003 as the crooks have devised ever-more crafty methods with which to separate us from our money.
So just how worried should we be? How big a threat are the different types of fraud, and what is being done to crack down on the problem?
"Fraudsters are constantly looking for new targets and organised criminals are probably behind the large growth in 'card not present' fraud," says the Association of Payment and Clearing services (Apacs), the trade body for card issuers which this week published the worrying fraud figures.
"The anonymity of CNP transactions allows fraudsters to disguise their true identity. They may use fictitious personal details in conjunction with fraudulently obtained card details to make illegal purchases," Apacs says. "Usually the card details are copied without the cardholder's knowledge or taken from discarded receipts."
The rise in CNP fraud is a blow to banking which is in the process of rolling out radical security measures in an attempt to tackle the most common form of fraud – counterfeit cards.
The recently launched "chip and PIN" technology is aimed at reducing fraud caused by counterfeit or stolen cards used in the high street where transactions are conducted face to face. But it offers scant reassurance when it comes to CNP.
Nevertheless, chip and PIN is expected to make significant inroads into the overall incidence of fraud. Under the scheme cards have a smart chip which can store information much more securely than on a magnetic strip. Security is also tightened by requiring customers to verify transactions by keying in a four-digit PIN number, rather than signing a receipt.
As for CNP, the banking industry has taken some tentative steps to stem the rise such as the introduction of an address verification system with mail order retailers. And there are schemes, such as Mastercard's SecureCard, which concentrates on preventing internet fraud.
However, crooks sometimes seem to be one step ahead of the authorities. The challenge for the police is: can its resources outsmart the nimble networks of organised criminals responsible?
Watch out for these rip-offs
At the cashpoint
How it works: All sorts of scams have emanated from cashpoints. Some rely on crooks being ever more inventive, but in other cases, a lack of vigilance on the part of cardholders can be a contributory factor. Fake swipe devices, one of the most brazen frauds, sees criminals attaching fake card readers to the doors of bank ATM lobbies which store card details.
Another scam involves a card attached to a piece of magnetic ribbon being inserted into an ATM. The next card put in will be swallowed. The fraudster approaches his target, pretending to be helpful, and says the problem can be remedied if the cardholder types in their PIN number. There's no joy, of course, so the cardholder gives up and leaves. The fraudster, who has memorised the PIN number, fishes out the card using the ribbon device and helps themselves to the cash. Other ruses include basic pick-pocket distraction techniques and legging it with the card.
What to do: In some instances there's no way of knowing that you are the victim of a scam until the dodgy transactions start appearing on your statements - but the police have been catching on to the most popular scams. A little extra vigilance helps. So, things like completely blocking the view of people behind you from the machine can mean avoiding some of the more obvious of the crook's tactics.
Lost and stolen cards
How it works : Lost cards falling into the wrong hands or stolen cards account for a quarter of all fraud - £107m in the year to last June. Meanwhile, the interception of cards in the post has doubled in two years to £41m.
What to do: The good news about lost or stolen cards is that the holder usually becomes aware of the problem fairly quickly and can cancel the card before too much damage is done. By way of prevention, consumers are advised not to leave cards lying around at home if they are not in, and to make sure that their handbag never leaves their sight. Also, if you live in a shared house or a flat and are concerned that a new card may not get to you, ask the provider to send your card to your work or to courier to your home on a day you will be there.
Identity theft
How it works: There's a touch of the sci-fi as it involves crooks trying to take over peoples' card accounts. They gather information about their victim, sometimes by rifling through bins for old receipts or card statements, to build up the personal details they need. Then they contact the issuer pretending to be the holder and saying they have moved. They ask for their mail to be directed to the new address, then report the card lost and ask for a replacement to be sent.
There are claims that in north London, for example, gangs pay £5 for letters and statements taken from rubbish bags that are then used to obtain credit or to open accounts in the name of unwitting victims. Identity theft shot up from £15.4m in 2001-03 to £25m, according to the latest figures.
What to do: This is a classic case of keeping your personal details well and truly private. The police and card companies advise that where possible, non-essential information should be destroyed.
Shredding or burning, or removing personal information such as card statements, or even utility bills from obvious places around the home or even from the waste bin, can help prevent it.
Card not present
How it works: This involves fraudsters using card details to make a card purchase online, over the phone or by mail order. The internet can be a particular worry for people if they are unfamiliar with it. According to Apacs, the internet is not a threat from hackers, but because the anonymity allows fraudsters more scope to hide their true identity. Then there are the times when the retailer is the potential fraudster. For example, when you phone up a restaurant for a takeaway and pay by card over the phone. You later see on your statement you've been charged twice for the meal.
What to do: Banks have started introducing a raft of precautionary tools to make this type of fraud harder. But there are ways cardholders can avoid becoming victims of the more obvious scams. For example, never disclose your PIN number to anyone and never volunteer it over the internet. And, if making a telephone or internet purchase where you are unfamiliar with the company, be alert to them asking questions that appear too personal or a large amount of detail.
How it works: The production of fake cards still leads the pack when it comes to fraud. It accounts for almost £130m of the total £411m. It can happen as a result of a card being stolen, but from the fraudster's point of view it is more valuable if the owner doesn't even know their card is missing. And this is where 'skimming' – copying genuine data from the black magnetic strip on one card on to a blank card without the owner's knowledge - comes into its own. It can be as simple as an unscrupulous shop assistant or restaurant waiter processing a transaction and quickly recording data using a gizmo as small as a pager.
The resulting counterfeit card may turn up anywhere in the world, and the cardholder is unaware of the crime until unexplained transactions appear on their statement.
What to do: Some of the same advice as for other types of fraud applies, but perhaps the most straightforward way to avoid this is to never let your card out of your sight.

Anonymity – anonimowość
To assess – oceniać, szacować
ATM – bankomat
Brazen – bezczelny
In conjunction – w połączeniu
Counterfeit – fałszywy
To crack down on – rozprawiać się
Crafty – przebiegły
Crook – kanciarz, oszust
To devise – obmyślać
To Dodge – robić unik
Escalating – wzrastający
Fictitious – zmyślony, fikcyjny
Fraud - oszustwo
Fraudster – oszust
genuine – prawdziwy
gizmo – any small device with a particular purpose
Incidence – częstotliwość
Interception – przechwycenie
To Leg – uciekać
Nimble – bystry, zwinny
To outsmart – przechytrzyć
Precautionary measure – środek ostrożności
raft – tratwa
To remedy – zaradzić
To rifle – opróżniać
Rip-off – kant, oszustwo
Ruse – podstęp
Scam – an illegal plan of making money
Scant – niewielki
Scope – zasięg, możliwości
Shredding – pocięcie na kawałki
To stem – tamować
Swipe device – czytnik kart
To tackle – stawiać czoła
Tentative – wstępny
Unpredictable – nieprzewidywalny
unscrupulous – pozbawiony skrupułów
Unwitting – bezwiedny, nie zdający sobie sprawy
Vigilance – czujność


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