Police call for photos on credit cards to cut fraud
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Brown, of the central cheque squad at New Scotland Yard, said that the use of photographs would be a major step in preventing the criminal use of cards. It would also reduce a crime bill running at pounds 400m a year - more than twice the high street clearing banks' estimate of the cost of fraud.
Det Ch Insp Brown said that the clearing banks had announced a 30 per cent increase - to nearly pounds 200m - in plastic card crime but police believed the true figure to be twice as high when fraud costs to retailers and building societies were included. Retailers bear the fraud costs of their own cards and of cheques above the normal pounds 50 bank guarantee limit.
In the pilot project by the Royal Bank of Scotland, there were no cases of fraud involving the 8,000 cards bearing the holder's photograph and Det Ch Insp Brown welcomed a similar move by the Trustee Savings Bank.
He was speaking at the launch of a Mori poll of more than 2,000 cardholders commissioned by Reader's Digest, which found that 65 per cent of cardholders believed banks and other card issuers were not doing enough to combat fraud. Nearly 70 per cent said that shop assistants were not thorough enough in checking customers' identities. However, the poll showed that cardholders were less willing to bear the costs of better security: 58 per cent would refuse to pay extra for thief-proof cards. Only a quarter said the extra security was worth an annual charge of pounds 2 or more.
A third of those polled also admitted to undermining security by writing down Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), with one in 20 keeping the number with their card - particularly among those aged under 25.
The survey, being published in next month's Reader's Digest, found that 28 per cent of card theft was through burglaries and 22 per cent by pickpockets. Another quarter of the cards were stolen after they had been mislaid.
Stolen charge cards which have no credit limits, such as American Express, fetch up to pounds 200. The black-market value of credit and debit cards such as Switch and Connect is up to pounds 150 and cheque books backed by guarantee cards are worth pounds 3 to pounds 10 a cheque.
Det Ch Insp Brown said that the stolen cards were sold by thieves to clearing houses, which sold them at a profit to fraudsters - a criminal network with proven links to drugs and pornography.
The survey also found that over a quarter of credit-card holders had two or more cards, and one in seven felt they had more cards than they needed.
Commentary, page 19
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...