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Web-related Credit and Debit card fraud reaches new highs

A BBC Investigation found out that the UK credit and debit card fraud could be much higher than previously thought when "failed attempts" figures are tallied, reaching half a billion Pounds.

More than £290 million pounds were lost by Phone, Internet or Mail order crime in 2007 according to data from the Banking sector and the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs).

Two BBC News journalists were able to infiltrate an underground criminal website which is selling thousands of card details online which have been stolen from online internet retailers whose websites were vulnerable.

“Card not present fraud is a major problem which is not going away and clearly is getting worse as criminals increase their efforts to steal from retailers,” explains Paul Simms, CEO of Card security firm the 3rd Man Group.

“We aren’t just talking about petty thieves and opportunists here. This money also funds illegal drugs, organised crime and terrorism."

The introduction of Chip and Pin technology shifted the focus of criminals and hackers from users to online retailers, especially small ones, which do not have the same security structure as much bigger ones.

Earlier this month, Symantec revealed how criminals were managing online criminal supermarkets where ID and bank accounts of UK citizens were on special "buy one get one free" offers.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.